Surveying 5,000 students that registered on its platform in the previous five months, Leverage Edu also found that 75% students said the UK was their preferred study destination, followed by 13% saying the same of Canada and 9% of the US.
The rise in students indicating a desire to study overseas is primarily “a result of governments in the UK, US and other developed countries, opening up their higher education and immigration policies, and communicating in far more welcoming manner than ever before”, explained Akshay Chaturvedi, founder & CEO of Leverage Edu.
“The UK, USA and Canada have come up with numerous pro-student policies in the last year, and are hence getting rewarded,” Chaturvedi said.
While 59% students chose not to change their study destination this year, 28% said they had changed their destination choice from another country to the UK.
Leverage Edu noted this was largely down to the country’s vaccination pace, NHS policies “which are in the favour of the global student”, along with the fact that UK universities had constantly maintained their communication with students during the pandemic.
Some 60% of respondents agreed constant communication from institutions during the pandemic had been “useful” and the information provided had helped them to make a decision.
Additionally, 71% of students selected ‘Better Healthcare Infrastructure’ as a key reason to study and look at opportunities abroad.
“Access to early vaccinations, as well as basics like healthcare infrastructure, quality of air we breathe, previously little-understood points, have gained a lot of relevance post the second wave in India,” Chaturvedi continued.
Students who live in the UK and are registered with health authorities will have access to the vaccine, while in the US The Chronicle has so far identified 470 campuses that are requiring vaccines of at least some students or employees. Students in Canada are also eligible for vaccines.
The findings corroborate a QS survey that found 47% of prospective students think the UK is becoming more attractive as a result of its vaccine distribution.
“Healthcare has become a living room conversation now,” Chaturvedi added.
“Universities have supported international students by providing waivers and relaxation on various requirements.”
Indian students being added to US’s travel exemption list, the UK’s Migration and Mobility Partnership with India and Canada’s 90,000 permit residency announcement have all help to boost interest among international students, Chaturvedi indicated.
“The next 2-3 academic intakes are going to be quite the rebound”
“Everything has been leading into these trends for a while now, and the last few months have definitely accelerated that.
“There were concerns over visa appointments for a while, given top metro cities were in lockdown, but they have largely eased off… The next 2-3 academic intakes are going to be quite the rebound.”
In May, Cabinet minister of Tourism and Environment for the Government of Maharashtra Aditya Thackeray announced three walk in vaccination centres in Mumbai. However, local reports suggested that more students than expected the anticipated 500 turned up with many leaving without having received a first jab.
The survey also found that 60% students were looking to fund their studies through an education loan.
Leverage Edu recently launched India’s “largest study abroad scholarship” of ₹5,00,00,000 earlier this year, with winners announced fortnightly.