As we mark over one year of the pandemic ravaging the entire world, there seems to be a light in sight at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines have come close to being administered worldwide, and this hope is changing student’s minds about their study abroad plans. In a new study undertaken by QS, 21% of potential students have claimed that the news of a possible vaccine by 2021 has made them want to prepone their deferred study abroad plans.
“Our latest insight shows that a potential Covid-19 vaccine would prompt many international students to bring forward their plans for studying abroad,” said managing director of QS Jessica Turner. She also said, “While some universities didn’t suffer the reduction in international students at the start of the academic year that many had feared, a significant proportion of current international students didn’t travel to their study destination of choice due to either a lack of face-to-face teaching provision or travel restrictions.”
“A Covid-19 vaccine will be able to significantly tackle both of these obstacles for prospective students planning to study abroad, which is encouraging news for the future of global higher education”.
On the other hand, 43% of the students in the study said that the vaccine news did not really make much of a difference in their study abroad plans, primarily because of the uncertainty surrounding the administration of the vaccine. In a similar survey conducted before the news of a possible vaccine hit the headlines, 45% of international students in that survey responded by saying that they would want to resume their study abroad plans only if campuses were fully accessible and face-to-face teaching had resumed.
While the vaccine news has certainly brought some hope into what seems like a very bleak situation, it still remains to be seen how the vaccine will be administered to a growing population, especially in countries where accessibility is difficult, such as India. We keep our fingers crossed !