As the coronavirus rages across nations, academic institutions in many countries are still closed and are facing a possibility where the start of 2020-2021 academic year might get further pushed back. Due to lockdown restrictions imposed in several countries across the globe, classes on campus are suspended and the visa process has been stopped. Many students who have enrolled for the May session in international institutes are attending classes online. While the institutes have cancelled admissions and also several students have withdrawn their admission requests. some institutes have admitted candidates for this session but postponed the sessions till further notification.
Delay in classes expected
Admission to international institutes is usually conducted for two sessions – May and September. Academic sessions of most foreign universities are likely to witness a delay for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Founder of UniAcco, a market place for student’ accommodation, Amit Singh said, “Around 80 – 90% of Indian students apply for admission to international institutes for the September session. There can be a delay in the classes of this session till January due to the uncertainty. Even, after the situation returns to normal, the application process and other formalities will take time. Therefore, the academic year is expected to start in January”.
Around 50 – 60 % of students have moved to online education
“Sessions that start in May usually teach elective subjects and thus cancellation of these classes will not have a serious impact. Around 20 – 30 % of students who had enrolled for admission to foreign programmes or courses for the May session have cancelled their admissions. Whereas, 50 – 60 % have moved to online learning. Some international institutes have also postponed their classes, ” says Singh
Decline in number of students headed for foreign institutes
“There will be a considerable reduction in the number of students who plan to take admission in foreign countries, ” said Abhishek Singhal, co-founder, UniAdmitHelp, a consultancy firm. However, the demand to get admission in premier institutes like Harvard, Cambridge, MIT, etc will continue as usual, he added.
“Numbers are going to decline substantially for students planning to go to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Middle East. However, there will be demand for selective colleges as similar to the post-2008 pandemic. Some eager students will enrol for these super-selective colleges, ” Singhal said.
The US has always remained as the topmost destination
As per the data from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), around 10.9 lakh students went to foreign countries for studies in 2019. The U.S has always remained as a topmost destination for International studies. The pandemic may affect the number of students planning to head for foreign studies in 2020.
US institutes may see a decline
“We are expecting a decline in the admissions. People are concerned about going abroad due to the pandemic. The US may stay flat with around two lakh abroad students. Enrolment in the UK may go up to 50 – 60,000 because of the Brexit driven policies for students that may leave a favourable impact on Indians. Students who have enrolled for admission to institutes in these countries would consider their chances post-COVID-19. Students will go for institutes that offer better infrastructure facilities and job security,”said Singhal.
Admission in foreign countries would reduce by 30 – 40%
“Universities in Australia and New Zealand are expecting around 40% reduction in admissions. The Middle East would see a decline of 60 – 70 %. China is likely to see a complete rout. The total number of students studying in foreign countries is going to be around 5 lakh with a concentration of 50 – 60 % in US and Canada institutes,”added Singhal
Many students will prefer online mode
SP Jain Global Institute that offers admission in four campuses including Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney and Dubai is also witnessing the impact of COVID -19 pandemic. The institute has received several enquiries from students who had applied for universities in foreign countries. And now they are looking for options closer to India. “Students are selecting our foreign campuses for admission. And post the pandemic, we speculate that only 80% will opt for foreign studies. While the rest would opt a high end online education. Now many of students will prefer online mode,” says Nitish Jain, president of SP Jain School of Global Management.