The world first learned about the coronavirus two years ago, and it has since touched the lives of millions of individuals. The fundamental obstacle in education was “distance learning,” and restricted borders posed a dilemma for students who wanted to study abroad.
How Foreign Universities Have Approached The Difficulties Encountered
When most nations declared quarantine in the spring of 2023, it was unclear how long it would last, but it was evident that transitioning to a distant format would be a significant problem for education. Regardless of the epidemiological scenario, research had to go on. It was a significant problem for both colleges and students.
Universities had to radically rearrange the systems of verifying knowledge and helping students, in addition to the technological transmission of lessons online. Students, on the other hand, had to adjust to their new lives and study through a computer screen. The latter, however, did not work for everyone.
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The absence of technology and communication was a major roadblock on the approach to distant education. This issue cropped up all over the place.
According to statistics from the Council of Europe, there were 160 students at the University of Strasbourg (Strasbourg University, France) in early March who did not have access to computers or the Internet. To address the issue, the university established an Emergency Fund, which earned €61,000 in less than a month, and purchased over a hundred laptops, which were handed to students in need.
Many students were in a precarious financial condition, having lost their employment and been unable to meet even their most basic demands. The requirement for foreigners to return home for the quarantine period, as well as the consequent higher expenditures for flights and rent, compounded the issue. Universities, charities, and government organizations in many nations, on the other hand, attempted to financially support students.
During the summer and winter semesters in Germany, the Ministry of Education and Research reimbursed all students with financial difficulties up to €500 per month. The government provided a one-time payment of €200 to French students who lost income due to the epidemic. The Institute of Foreign Education in the United States established an Emergency Fund to assist international students in need: recipients might receive up to 1,500 euros to cover their tuition and living expenses. Furthermore, several colleges, mostly in the United States and the United Kingdom, decreased tuition during the epidemic.
Studying got more challenging for students. Apart from technological and economical challenges, everyone had a psychologically tough time during the epidemic, and many people saw an increase in distant learning. All of these factors have influenced academic achievement.
According to a study conducted by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), academic performance declined primarily among those who did not have a comfortable place to study, regular access to e-learning materials and the Internet, and who also lacked social support, resulting in mental health issues.
Universities began to establish specific psychological support services, preparing and disseminating information on how to arrange a “remote” study independently.
Northwestern University (Northwestern University, USA) taught its students how to withstand quarantine if they live in an abusive home situation.
What Has Changed In The Admissions Procedure To Overseas Universities?
Entry into other nations has gotten a little simpler this year for people who are not frightened of the virus’s extensive spectrum of bad consequences. This can be explained by a reduction in the overall number of candidates (and hence a reduction in competitiveness) as well as some of the compulsory measures adopted by universities and testing facilities.
Applicants may have purchased time. According to a QS survey, 29.7% of institutions moved application dates. The ability to postpone deadlines was a huge plus for candidates who, for whatever reason, did not have enough time to submit the required bundle of documentation.
Some institutions postponed admissions examinations as a result of the prohibition on public events, and over 1,500 universities began using the Duolingo test to demonstrate English competence in addition to the IELTS and TOEFL assessments. Harvard University (Harvard University), Stanford University (Stanford University), and Yale University are only a few among them (Yale University).
A number of formalities that made applying for admission or a scholarship difficult have been eliminated: some colleges now accept transcripts of grades and letters of recommendation without stamps, making document gathering easier for students and teachers.
It was possible to apply for a DAAD scholarship (to study for a master’s degree in Germany) in 2023 without submitting a letter of reference, despite the fact that this is generally a required element of the application.
According to QS, the virus disrupted 70 percent of students’ intentions to study abroad, causing them to postpone or terminate their studies. The competition has lessened for the remaining international candidates, accordingly (not applicable to all countries and universities).
As a consequence of tougher border-crossing policies in Canada, Australia, and the United States, most English-speaking applicants chose the United Kingdom as an option, which issued visas and kept its borders open throughout the epidemic. As a result, a record number of overseas students registered in British undergraduate programs in 2023, up 9% from the previous year.
Education Won’t Be The Same
The increase in enrollment in the U.K. is more of an exception. Overall, enrollment is down in 2023, and this year’s projections are disappointing as well. This indicates that the majority of the world’s colleges will lose money. The main issue will be a drop in revenue from overseas students, who pay many times more in tuition than locals in many nations.
Because of the predicted fall in student enrollment, British institutions might face a £2.5 billion deficit in 2023, according to London Economics, a consultancy group. The financial impact of international student outflows might be much bigger for American colleges, where educational services are the fourth largest export and foreign students contributed $45 billion to the economy in 2018, according to the US Department of Commerce.
It’s also important to remember that universities serve both a teaching and a research function as big employers.
According to the Australian Academy of Sciences, the pandemic might result in the loss of 21,000 full-time employment at Australia’s universities, including 7,000 in research.
Universities will take a long time to recover from the COVID-19 catastrophe, but it is important noting that the epidemic has considerably hastened the changes that were certain to happen in the near future. As a result, education will never be the same again. Universities are now considering how to better employ face-to-face interactions with students, how to enhance online learning in higher education, and what options to give to replace traditional lectures, thanks to the introduction of digitalization in an emergency.
The University of Arizona’s Global Campus offers a wonderful illustration of how the virus has aided in the advancement of innovation. Global Campus students may now obtain an American education locally (on 650+ campuses in 34 countries) or study totally online from anywhere in the globe, thanks to the expansion of the worldwide micro campus system in 2023.
What The Situation in The World is Like Now
In the year 2023, online learning will be the primary mode of instruction. According to QS, 55 percent of students were studying abroad totally online at the end of the year, while 21% were largely online with a few face-to-face lectures. Even those colleges who had proclaimed face-to-face and hybrid formats of study at the start of the academic year were obliged to adapt to a fully distant format in the second wave of the coronavirus.
Distance learning does not prevent students from moving to another nation, despite the near-universal quarantine. Education is not a kind of tourism, and most nations continue to provide student visas. Everyone must make their own decision on whether or not to go.
Without a question, the pandemic has brought many bad moments into everyone’s life, but when it comes to international education, we may look for good aspects in the current situation:
1) Low competition – more opportunities to enroll in foreign universities, particularly top programs;
2) Fewer students now – fewer graduates in a few years, implying a competitive advantage on the job market and additional career opportunities after graduation;
3) Reduced costs, discounts, and scholarships – significant savings are possible.
In the field of education, online learning is a clear development vector. The epidemic has accelerated global changes that cannot be halted, but you should not be scared of them; instead, you should know how to exploit them effectively.
Bio: Rebecca Carter works as an essay writer for BuyEssayClub. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and developed an interest in writing articles about her experience. Rebecca enjoys being in the mountains, going to the gym, and volunteering when she is not writing.