Chinese and Indian candidates, who make up the bulk of international students in the UK, opposed the idea of online learning.
The prospect of starting their academic session in the UK via online learning, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, has not dampened the spirit of international students, a survey conducted by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has found. The QS survey revealed that 72 percent of international students are willing to take up their studies in the UK irrespective of the fact that it might be held online.
Over 30,000 international students from different parts of the world were surveyed by QS, out of which over 8,800 students showed interest in taking up studies in the UK. According to new data that was collected at the beginning of April, the plans of 62 percent of international candidates, interested to study in the UK, were affected due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The study revealed that out of the 72 percent of interested candidates who accepted the idea of starting their academic year online, 46 percent assured that they were welcoming of the idea of starting their studies this year even if it takes place virtually, while the rest of the 26 percent were uncertain at this stage. 28 percent failed to welcome the idea of online learning.
According to the study, Chinese and Indian candidates, who make up the bulk of international students in the UK, opposed the idea of online learning, whereas candidates from US, European Union, and non-EU did not mind to begin their studies online.
When proposed with the idea of starting their studies online, 49 percent, which is nearly half of the prospective international students from China, and 36 percent of prospective international students from India did not agree to the idea. Only 20 percent of German students opposed the concept of starting the academic year online, while 30 percent of US students consider online learning as an obstacle.
When asked if they would begin their studies in the UK if it was online, 47 percent of EU students welcomed the idea, while 20 percent opposed it.
As a result of lockdown in quite a few countries, many prospective students who intended to begin their programme in autumn in the UK are facing issues. Australia is planning to allow international students in July, while countries like Canada are already accepting international students.
But, none of these countries are promising that in-person classes will resume anytime soon. Students will have to depend on the internet to continue their studies via video conferencing platforms and online learning tools since lecture halls, irrespective of their size will not allow proper social distancing.
Many candidates are having to reconsider their plans to study abroad as a result of the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whilst it is going to cause short term disruption and uncertainty, our data shows there are reasons to be optimistic for the Higher Education sector. The main impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student flows will be one of timing, and British universities can help to mitigate the impacts by ensuring they are well-prepared to offer online learning into the next academic year,” said CEO of QS, Nunzio Quacquarelli.
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