Visa Crunch

91% of Indian students still want to study abroad despite the COVID-19 obstacles

Majority of Indian student plans to study abroad were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But a recent survey by iSchoolConnect revealed that despite the risk involved, over 91% of students expressed a strong interest in studying abroad as soon as they were able to do so. The question that is going to linger in students’ heads is when will the travel ban be lifted and which destination should they consider to study considering the current political climate.

Looking at previous data, countries preferred by Indian students to study have been the USA, UK, Canada, Australia. But students have to rethink their choices due to the Coronavirus pandemic and its effect on international travel. Although, students have started turning their attention towards countries such as Germany, New Zealand and Ireland. 

The past decade has observed students’ preference for education changing. The variation in student decision can be because of the ease of admission process and the ability of students to get permanent residence there. Also, there is an increase in the number of courses provided by some other countries like Germany, Ireland, South Korea and Singapore. 

The survey by iSchoolConnect revealed that the migration pattern from the year 2000 to 2016 is showing a surprising shift. The report showed that the number of Indian students going abroad has increased sharply from 66,000 in 2000 to 301,000 in 2016. The flow of students in 2000 was divided majorly between 4 countries that are, US which received 59% of the students and Australia, UK, and Canada following next with 7%, 6% and 1% inbound traffic respectively.

The recent statistics reveal that there is a change of interest in Indian students while choosing the country for overseas education. The reports from 2016 show that although the US again topped the chart, its international student migration dropped to 45%. While Australia bumped its migration percentage to 15% and Canada also saw an increase to 7% international Indian students. 

When COVID-19 was rapidly spreading around the world, universities had to switch to virtual classes in a hurry. From February, many countries had already issued international travel bans, meanwhile also shutting down their embassies and consulate services which lead to visa applications being put on hold. The drastically changing situation in the world made many students reconsider their decisions and made them reconsider their country of choice. Since the global pandemic, health safety and a minimum spread of the coronavirus are the two most important factors students are considering while choosing the country they want to gain further education from. Therefore, countries with low numbers of Coronavirus infections such as Germany, Australia, New Zealand, etc. are considered a better choice by the students.

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