Following advances with vaccines showing promising results, QS surveyed 887 prospective international students from countries around the world including China, India, Pakistan, the UK and the US.
“Our latest insight shows that a potential Covid-19 vaccine would prompt many international students to bring forward their plans for studying abroad
Nearly a quarter (21%) of prospective students said that the introduction of a potential coronavirus vaccine has made them want to start their studies earlier.
“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.
“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 HE.”
Some 43% of prospective international students said that the vaccine news had made no difference to their plans, citing reasons such as it not yet being clear when the vaccine would be widely available, or that they’re planning to start their studies in 2021 and assume things will be back to normal by then.
Previous research from QS, conducted prior to the vaccine news, found that nearly half (45%) of prospective international students would only feel comfortable travelling overseas to study when campuses are open and face-to-face teaching has resumed.
This research also found that 43% of respondents said they would travel overseas to study once a vaccine is developed and available.