According to the International Student Crossroads study released by IDP Connect, students with current offers from universities are holding on to their international education goals, despite prolonged travel bans and global lockdowns due to Covid-19.
“While students are warming to the idea…many are still holding out for an on-campus experience”
IDP noted that student confidence has increased since the last survey in April, with 74% now expecting to commence their studies as planned, up from 69%.
The second instalment of the survey found “attitudes toward the global pandemic had changed as students come to terms with the reality of quarantine, and their concerns had pivoted to become much more practical”, it read.
Andrew Barkla, chief executive officer at IDP Education, said more than three-quarters of the 4,300 students surveyed were willing to quarantine, but more importantly, what they wanted was practical assistance with travel and logistics.
“Students want practical advice and help in arranging accommodation in quarantine, flights and logistics when they arrive,” Barkla added.
“While there has been a lot of government and industry discussion about policy concerns and quarantine measures, it is just as important that we consult and develop solutions in line with student expectations and their willingness to participate – and help them to get to their study destination.
“For parents of international students in particular, they want assurance there is adequate healthcare available for their child should they fall ill.”
The research also found students are warming up to the concept of a blended online and face-to-face delivery mode for their education.
Barkla explained that acceptance to start studies online and transition to face-to-face teaching at a later stage has increased from 31% to 40% since the survey in April.
“This highlights that while students are warming to the idea and understand the current situation, many are still holding out for the on-campus – and life – experience,” he added.
Simon Emmett, chief executive officer of IDP Connect, said there is more work to be done to ensure students can safely start back as early as Fall 2020, particularly for the northern hemisphere destinations of Canada, the UK and the US.
“Despite the ongoing global lockdowns and travel restrictions, students remain determined to study abroad,” Emmett said.
“The research findings serve as a reminder that we need to put ourselves in our students’ shoes.
“Rather than focus on policy and domestic-focused rhetoric discussions, our sector must provide students and their parents with clear, practical and aligned information and support,” he added.