Visa Crunch

Finance a major concern for prospective international students, study reveals

A recent study by the Times Higher Education (THE) team revealed that the availability of finances worried international students the most. Other concerns and worries that the students faced were health concerns, student experience, and quality of online learning.

THE took a survey of 165 prospective international students in January and published the results thereafter. It came across that 64 percent of respondents said that the accessibility of funds or grants was a significant worry for them, while 59 percent referred to business prospects after graduating. In the wake of the pandemic, a lot of families have taken a hit economically as well, due to which 51 percent of the respondents said that they were more worried about this now than they had been a half year prior.

COVID has also sown the seeds of fear and consideration of healthcare in everyone’s minds. This led to 56 percent of respondents saying that they are more worried about health and safety now than six months ago. In another comprehensive study by THE, it was found that in June, the majority of questions raised towards the portal were related to visas, whereas health-related queries were most common in November. Another trend that followed the results of the questionnaire was that the funding-related concerns grew up to be the most prevalent in September, October, and December.

Matt Durnin, worldwide head of experiences and consultancy at the British Council, anticipated that monetary concerns were probably going to overwhelm wellbeing as the essential worry for international students in the following year because of recession. Nonetheless, he added that there would be huge contrasts by country.

Other student worries such as the quality of education and overall student experience have been completely put on the backfoot by the COVID-induced fear. In such unprecedented times, when each pocket is hit by the pandemic, student concerns regarding funding have increased multifold times. Health concerns were at the forefront of student worries, but with a gradual return to normalcy, financial woes seem to be taking over the health concerns. With new variants of the virus coming in, aspiring international students are in for a topsy-turvy ride of events ahead.

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