New research highlights international students still want to study abroad

May 8, 2020    Source: Chelsea Dibble

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According to a recent survey conducted by IDP Connect, 69 percent of international students with offers from universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US expect to start their studies as planned in light of COVID-19. The survey examined student applicants’ attitudes and motivations for studying abroad despite the pandemic.

IDP Connect CEO Simon Emmett said the research showed there was a small window of opportunity where applicants would be happy to hold on to their global study goals. After this time, their interest appears to wane:

“Thirty-one percent of respondents stated they would be willing to start their course online and move to face-to-face learning at a later date, but by far the greatest preference was to defer to January 2021 if this meant face-to-face learning would be possible.”

“For students who had already chosen to defer or were considering deferring, 18 percent were only willing to defer for up to three months, 23 percent for up to 6 months and 13 percent for up to a year. Eighteen percent stated they were willing to wait until the institution was ready.”

Key findings

  • Thirty-one percent of respondents stated they would be willing to start their course online and move to face-to-face learning at a later date
  • Thirty-eight percent said they would defer to January 2021 if this meant face-to-face learning would be possible
  • The proportion of postgraduates preferring to defer entry was significantly larger than it was among undergraduates

Among students who preferred to defer than study online, 69 percent said their major concern with online learning vs. in-person learning is that it lacks the international exposure they were hoping to gain; 47 percent said it was a concern about teaching quality; and 40 percent said it had to do with their personal learning style.