For study abroad aspirants, there are few things as daunting as choosing the right university. With Covid-19 affecting the admission and education processes all over the world, students need to adapt their college shortlisting and admission plans.
Before the global pandemic, students would prioritize factors such as campus life while choosing an institution. Today, remote education, online assessment, and safe learning are some of the most important student concerns when it comes to studying abroad planning.
Here are some of the other factors students keep in mind while choosing their universities during Covid-19:
Mode of learning
When Covid-19 hit, universities worldwide chose online modes of learning for students - both current and prospective. After studying remotely for more than a year, students want to study on campus. As the cases lessen, universities are adopting a hybrid model of learning where they conduct classes online as well as offline. For many students, this can be a deciding factor between two institutions.
Ranking and quality of education
As international students applying to institutions from a foreign country, ranking and testimonials from past students are some of the only modes of feedback that help them decide. The rank of an institution in the world university ranking lists allows students to understand the quality of their education. As a result, it proves to be an important factor while choosing an institution.
No matter which country students plan to study in, budget is one of the most primary factors considered by all students. Students need to understand, that tuition fee may seem astronomical but there are always financial aids and scholarships to ease their burden. All they have to do is reach out to their respective institutions and ask for the list of scholarships. If there are ones they might be eligible for, universities try their best to offer them.
General safety and laws
The dream of studying in a foreign country remains eternal among students but never at the cost of their own health. Students want to receive vaccinations against Covid-19 before they can study overseas and universities that provide either vaccines or issue mandates for students to be vaccinated before traveling abroad, are preferred by students. Some of the WHO-approved vaccinations include the ones from Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BionTech, and Covishield by AstraZeneca/Oxford.
Eligibility criteria for admission
For undergraduate as well as graduate-level admissions, exam scores of tests such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL are some of the most important qualifying criteria that universities usually ask for. In the year 2019-2020, universities worldwide eased their admission requirements and even offered application fee waivers to allow more students to apply for their programs of choice. This list included some of the top names such as Cornell University, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and more. As a result, institutions that offer these concessions are a popular choice among students than those that don’t.
Post-study work policies
Understanding the plight of international students stuck in their home countries during Covid-19, several countries have revised their post-study work visa policies. Countries like the UK and Canada have granted post-study work visas to students who pursued their education online in 2020 and 2021. The UK government, in fact, has extended its deadline and allowed international students to travel to the UK before September 27, if they want to be eligible for the graduate route. When planning their education overseas, this is one of the most crucial points students should consider.
Education overseas may seem confusing to many but the truth is, that admissions overseas are easier than they might be in India. All students need to do is consider the right factors, do some research based on personal preferences, and plan their journey abroad.
— Authoured by Ashish Fernando, Founder, and CEO – iSchoolConnect