How Universities and Prospective International Students are Adapting to the Coronavirus Crisis

Discover the latest findings from the ongoing QS coronavirus surveys of prospective international students and higher education professionals.  

As the new academic year approaches for many higher education institutions across the globe, students and staff are facing complex challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis.  

According to the latest QS analysis, 61% of prospective international students state that the coronavirus has affected their plans to study abroad. Of those respondents, 55% now intend to defer or delay their entry until next year. 

Interestingly, the proportion of those who are now looking to study in another country is increasing (sitting at 12% in August), having dramatically declined between February and March (falling from 32% to 8%) 

This could be good news for those institutions in countries that have handled the crisis well with 55% of surveyed prospective international students stating that they had reconsidered where they want to study overseas based on how different governments have handled the coronavirus crisis. 

When asked which countries they thought had handled the coronavirus best, 29% of prospective international students chose New Zealand, 9% chose China, 9% chose Germany, 9% chose South Korea, 6% chose Australia, and 5% chose Canada. 

In the QS coronavirus survey of higher education professionals, respondents expected their governments to address these shifts by making it easier for students to obtain a student visa (61%), establishing travel corridors with as many countries as they can (52%), setting up more scholarships for international students (47%), and extending the length of time students can stay on post-study work visas after graduating (43%).  

Higher education professionals also demonstrated a clear willingness to innovate and adapt their own practices during these turbulent times with 49% of respondents seeking to diversify the source countries they use for recruiting international students. 

Additionally, educational delivery is expected to be adaptable and flexible with 35% predicting an educational model that will be mostly online with some face-to-face, and 32% predicting an equal split between online and face-to-face. 

To discover the full findings from our latest coronavirus report, download your free copy now: The Coronavirus Crisis and the Future of Higher Education. 

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