Despite the pandemic, international students are flocking to Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in record numbers, according to new research from Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute.
Yet, Australia and New Zealand continue to see a significant drop in new admissions of overseas students. It was discovered that the very first waves of the pandemic resulted in a significant drop in new international students. Countries that have opened their doors to international students, on the other hand, are improving significantly in terms of rebounding the number of overseas students.
The study reveals a complicated situation in which the pandemic directly impacted international students from all over the world in different ways. The number of new Chinese students is still lower than it was before the pandemic. However, in some source countries, such as India and Nigeria, numbers are at all-time highs. The study examines student visa data to better understand the pandemic’s repercussions on current and future international students.
Student visa records are a leading indicator because most students require a visa before enrolling. The pandemic reduced the number of new students in all countries. However, some people have been hit harder than others. The United Kingdom has recovered the most quickly. It has a record number of new international students – 38% more than before nCovid-19.
The disruption caused by the pandemic can be obscured by annual data. This is due to countries imposing varying levels of constraints throughout 2020 and 2021, causing normal enrolment patterns to shift. Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States all saw drops of more than 80%. For the available data on student visas, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States had recovered to record levels by the September 2021 quarter. This could be good news for countries that have lost students to other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand.
The rapid rebound to an upward pattern in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States indicates that there is a pent-up requirement from students waiting for borders to open. If this is the case, new overseas students should register in greater numbers as travel to Australia and New Zealand becomes more accessible.
During a pandemic, events in students’ home countries will also have an impact on their decisions. The study examined the impact of the pandemic on new international students based on their country of origin.
Nigeria has recovered the most, owing largely to a rise in Nigerian students studying in the United Kingdom. New international students from India have also expanded by about 27% since the pandemic began. This increase can be attributed to changes in student preferences.
In the year to September 2021, the number of Indian international students studying in Australia fell by 62 per cent compared to 2019. On the other hand, the number of new Indian international students in the UK more than doubled, increasing by 174 per cent. India has surpassed China as the leading source of international students.
Overseas students also make a significant contribution to total investment in the higher education sector industry. Fees from international students account for approximately 27 per cent of total university revenue in Australia. The loss of international students can have a significant effect on academic institutions, particularly universities.
In the aftermath of a pandemic, governments are looking to expand and strengthen their international education sectors.
The Biden administration in the United States officially confirmed a “renewed commitment to international education” in July 2021.
By 2030, the UK government hopes to have increased the value of international education by 75%. Despite the fact that the pandemic has had a significant impact on international education, the stage is set for a return to a highly competitive global market.