Jacopo Gutterer
2 months ago

The Impact Of COVID-19 on International Students Perceptions

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[REPORT] Since Friday 20 March Studyportals has been running an online survey among international students to find out what their perceptions are on COVID-19 and how it may impact their study abroad plans.

Coronavirus stormed through the global economy grinding activities almost to a halt. This applies to the normal operations of universities: classes are empty, and research retreated to single researchers. 

But some departments have picked up the challenge and quickly started coping with the emergency: 

  • What are students saying about the Coronavirus outbreak? 
  • What are students planning to do? 
  • What can universities do to reassure students? 

International offices, marketing, and planning departments all need one input to start planning for the future and quantify risk: industry insights. Since Friday 20 March Studyportals has been running an online survey among international students to find out what their perceptions are on COVID-19 and how it may impact their study abroad plans. 

#UPDATE 1

The first survey collected data until March 26 and was completed by 401 students and explored topics such as:

  • when are student plan to enrol?
  • how are they coping with the crisis?
  • what are they worried about?
  • what can universities do to respond to the crisis?

The key insights from this survey:

  • students planning to start their studies in the short-term are more concerned about COVID-19 disruptions to their study plans
  • the main worries of prospective students are related to travel restrictions and financial issues (e.g. decrease of their study budget or the increasing cost of studying abroad)
  • students expect universities to improve hygiene measures on campus, as well as offer a 24/7 helpline, online counselling and support and extend their application periods.

 

Student perceptions of COVID-19 by start date

#UPDATE 2

The second survey collected data until 2 April and was completed by an additional 200 students. This installment focused primarily in exploring differences between students currently in their home country and those already abroad in terms of:

  • likelihood of impact on their studies
  • students’ change of plans
  • expectations of university responses

The key insights from this analysis include:

  • students currently in their home countries are more concerned about travel restrictions, study budgets, and challenges to completing their current studies.
  • students already studying abroad are more pessimistic in their expectations of how COVID-19 will impact their future study plans and more likely to consider online learning, or postpone their studies 

#UPDATE 3

The third update compiles the results of 853 prospective students around the world and focuses on the perception change over time.

This issue covers the following findings:

  • a rising share of students says that they changed their plans due to Covid-19
  • the measures taken by prospective students changing their plans
  • the effect of the country of destination on study plans

In specific, some countries appear to edge the effects of Covid-19 on student plans. Prospective students who mentioned Germany among the countries they are considering are less likely to change their plans.

Country differences

 

#UPDATE 4

The next update will follow in May and monitor the main changes in student perceptions one month after the first survey.

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