61 per cent students defer their plans to study abroad due to Covid-19, says global survey

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 22, 2020

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The Covid-19 pandemic has forced students to rethink their plans to study abroad, according to an ongoing survey by British agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

According to the survey, globally 61 per cent of respondents have stated that the pandemic has impacted their plans to study abroad.

According to the data on Indian students shared with the Indian Express, 61 per cent of Indian students are likely to defer their course by a year, while 8 per cent of students are likely to pick a different country for their course. According to the QS survey, 7 per cent of Indian students are cancelling their plans to study abroad altogether.

The attitude of students and their willingness to study abroad has changed over the course of the pandemic. “As the survey has progressed, we can see that the proportion of students who want to and who expect to start their studies overseas in 2020 is gradually declining, while the numbers for 2021 are increasing,” the report read.

In India, 49 per cent of students are planning to pursue ‘post graduate-by-coursework’ level (MBA, Master’s and graduate diploma), while 19 per cent are looking to opt for ‘post graduate-by-research’ level (Master’s and PhD). The number stood at 29 per cent for undergraduate studies abroad.

Online learning

A lot of universities abroad are moving their classes online amid the pandemic. This has also been a factor for students in terms of their study plans.

Globally, 36 per cent of respondents in August said that they were not interested in pursuing their course online, while in India it was 48 per cent.

79 per cent of students across the globe believed that the tuition fees should be discounted as classes move online. In India, 82 per cent of students expected universities abroad to reduce their tuition fee.

“When it comes to what measures they want universities to implement, prospective international students are becoming less interested in moving courses online and more interested in universities holding lectures in larger rooms to minimize contact,” the report said.

As of 11 August, the survey garnered over 66,000 responses from prospective international students across 198 nationalities and territories out of which 11,310 are Indians.

Published on August 22, 2020

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