Vaccine requirements in higher education: What do international students think?

According to the latest QS coronavirus survey insights, the majority of international students are open to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.  

A promising 65% of surveyed international students would take the COVID-19 vaccine, while 26% are unsure and only 10% would not.  

These positive findings come from the latest QS coronavirus report, Vaccines and virtual lectures: How international students are adapting to higher education in 2021which details how international students are experiencing education and their opinions on vaccine requirements in higher education.  

For the 10% of respondents who would not take the vaccine, 39% would take the vaccine if their university required it, with 28% unsure and 33% claiming they wouldn’t. 

This suggests that only a small minority of students would not get the vaccine if they were offered it and their chosen university required them to have it before travelling overseas.  

As the coronavirus crisis continues and nations discuss vaccine passports and similar travel restriction measures, higher education institutions must consider their policies regarding vaccine requirements and in-person teaching.   

To better understand the sentiments of international students in this area, respondents were asked whether they think universities should require international students to take the vaccine before travelling to their university’s country. 

Half of respondents support vaccine requirements, while 23% don’t and 27% are unsure. This suggests that institutions may need to consider a comprehensive communications plan if they decide to adopt vaccine requirements to ensure students are aware of the reasons behind this decision and the benefits it brings. 

It’s also important to address mistrust in governmenthealthcare and established institutions, which may cause historically marginalised communities to experience vaccine hesitancy.  

In addition to vaccine requirements, international students also expressed their preferences related to online and in-person teaching, travelling to their destination country, and quarantining requirements.  

To discover these findings and other insights, please download your free copy of our report: Vaccines and virtual lectures: How international students are adapting to higher education in 2021. 

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