According to a survey, one in every five students reassessed their preferred study countries as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak, with the overwhelming number of students choosing Canada. The survey’s three largest respondent countries were India, the Philippines, and Nepal.
The survey did not include any students from China.
In the poll of 7,400 student responders from 147 countries; about 21.1 per cent indicated they had altered their chosen location and about 36 per cent chose Canada. The study, which was conducted between September 28 and October 18 this year also discovered that 51.6 per cent of student respondents had delayed their education as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, with economic burden and blocked borders being the most often stated factors.
The United States and Australia were the two most popular destinations among students who indicated they had changed their plans, as 27 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, said they now have less of an inclination to study there.
While 36% of those altering their destination preferred Canada, 21% preferred the United Kingdom, and 2% preferred New Zealand. “It should be disappointing for Australia to see that 15% of students have shifted their study preference to other countries,” said Jake Foster, AECC chief commercial officer. “If the Australian government doesn’t send a clear message to students, Australians will keep missing out on the contributions of international students to our society for years to come,” he added.
According to the survey, Australia is the third-biggest international student market, with over 71,000 student enrolments in 2020. The poll also discovered that 53.5 per cent of Nepalese students had been immunized with the Chinese Vero Cell vaccine, which is not officially recognized by regulators in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States.
“It should be concerning to Australians that Nepal, such an important international student source country for us, has a majority of students that will miss out on life-changing studies because they are not vaccinated with a recognized vaccine,” Foster said. As a result of the border closures, many students who wished to study in Australia have been unable to put their lives on hold and have chosen to study in other countries, according to him.
About 49.95 per cent said they had been vaccinated twice, 24.07 per cent said they will be vaccinated shortly, and 9.97 per cent said they were waiting for their second dose.
Approximately 40% of international students considering studying abroad received a Coronavac (Sinovac) or Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India) vaccination. The study also discovered that 77.4 per cent of students are dissatisfied, neutral, or unsure about online learning, highlighting the necessity of on-campus education, as per reports.
“Once Australia’s vaccine rollout hits the 80% double dose mark, it would be great to see a program for international students that do not have a recognized vaccine receive one on arrival when they study in Australia,” Foster said. The respective governments of the countries should consider opening and relaxing the border norms in order to welcome the return of international students.