The Demand for International Education still going strong Despite Pandemic

With nearly 200 million reported cases and over 4 million deaths, the Covid-19 pandemic has had disruptively deleterious impact on on the globe. Lockdowns, travel bans, furloughs have been banal terminologies during this period of incertitude, speculation, trepidation and grief.

However, the earth is still spinning on her axis and life must go on. “Adapt or perish” is an inextricable imperative of mother nature and to that effect many still retain their intransigent resolve in pursuing their dreams of obtaining international education. A research carried out by Cialfo, a Singaporean education tech company, revealed that as many as 60 percent of students who planned to undertaken foreign university study said the pandemic has not altered their plans.

The report was based on a study designed to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on student recruitment. With a sample of nearly 4000 students surveyed across over 100 countries, it offered a palpable insight into the actual impact of the pandemic on studying abroad.

The study also revealed that over 75% of students detailed their concern over not enjoying the full student experience and lifestyle in light of the current restrictive environment and nearly 60% said they did not see the value of paying full tuition fees for an online-only experience. The financial concerns were most palpable in the Asian Pacific and North American regions with 62% and 59% respectively.

The report further detailed that 76% of the students said studying abroad was beneficial to them obtaining new life experiences, while 53% said it helped them have access to comparatively superior academic programs. More than half of the students said it had positive impact on them exploring different cultures.

The USA and Australia reportedly received significantly fewer applications during the 19/20 academic year due to the pandemic. With travel restrictions still in place “down under”, it is estimated that Australia will receive 300,000 less international students this academic year. With the extenuating circumstances limiting the overall college experience, students have had to recalibrate their priorities. The report detailed that a majority of students are making college considerations not just on the basis of reputation and academic requirements but also future job prospects and Covid-19 related safety and travel restrictions,

The future however looks bright for International education with the vaccine roll-outs and efficient mitigation plans in place. The research by Cialfo revealed that total university application rose by 30% in 2020 with acceptance rates increasing by 15%.

The US, UK, Canada, Netherlands and Australia remain the top destinations for International students.

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