Visa Crunch

2021: A Year Full Of Challenges For International Study Amid Travel Curbs, Deferments And More

It’s been another year of difficulties for overseas students in various nations around the world, as the latter continued to endure limitations as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. International students were not allowed to attend and complete in-person studies in other nations this year as well.

As the year 2021 comes to a close, it can be assessed how it went for international students studying at institutions in some of the most popular destinations for international students.

  • Australia

Due to the pandemic, international students in Australia continued to struggle with their studies. International students in Australia were not permitted to enter the country until mid-December. Due to the threat of the Omicron strain, the Australian government has decided to put a travel ban on international students once more.

Even though it was scheduled for students to begin in-person classes on December 1, they were told they would have to wait another two weeks.

Due to the threat of the Omicron strain, the Australian government has decided to put a travel ban on international students once more. Students voiced dissatisfaction with this decision, claiming that they had lost the money they had spent on plane tickets.

After nearly two years, Australia resumed its borders to thousands of international students on December 15, a decision that, according to Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson, will give heart to more than 1,33,000 international students, many of whom will return to campus life and many others will be able to come to their university campuses for the first time.

Australia certainly lacked the political power to actually reopen to international students, at least to those enrolled in a course at a recognized institute, fully vaccinated, and completing two weeks of hotel quarantine, said Andrew Deuchar, a New Generation Network Scholar in Education at the University of Melbourne.

There were approximately 69,427 students enrolled in the country’s institutions (YTD July 2019 compared to YTD 2021), according to figures from Australia’s Department of Education.

  • Canada

According to a new study performed in late August and early September this year by IDP Connect, an education organization specializing in student marketing and recruiting, Canada has surpassed the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia in terms of attracting overseas students.

According to the study, which included 3,650 students from 55 countries, 39 percent of students see Canada as their first preference for university education, followed by 17 percent who identified both the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 percent who claimed Australia was their first choice. Because of the ability to work part-time, 72 percent of students in this survey selected to study in Canada in 2021.

Over 21,000 study permits were issued in 2021, a 44 percent increase over the previous year, according to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

  • USA

This year, the number of overseas students in the United States has declined by 15%, from 1,075,496 in the 2019/20 academic year to 914,095 in 202/21.

Meanwhile, according to another study conducted by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, more students from all over the world have decided to relocate to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada in the midst of the pandemic.

As per a poll conducted by the Institute of International Education (IIE), higher education institutions in the United States saw a 4% rise in total international students this autumn.

According to the same study, 70% of universities in the United States have observed a rise in the number of international students in autumn 2021, 20% have witnessed a reduction, and 10% have indicated the same number as before.

China and India have accounted for the bulk of international students in the United States in 2021, contributing to 53 percent of the international student body.

South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brazil were among the top international student sources in the United States in 2021.

  • UK

Despite the pandemic, the United Kingdom has been a more open country for overseas students in 2021, rebounding far faster than Australia and New Zealand, the two major study destinations. In 2021, the number of new international students in the UK was around 38% greater than before the pandemic.

“In the case of the UK, new international students are 37% higher than pre-Covid. By contrast, new student visa applications for Australia have plummeted by 70% in the 12 months to September 2021,” the report by the Mitchell Institute reads.

According to reports, the UK government hopes to increase international student enrolment by 75% by 2023.

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