New Delhi: According to a recent report by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the decisions of approximately 48 per cent Indian students who wanted to study abroad. Foreign education is expensive and seeing the current situation of a global crisis in mind, landing up with a good job might be exceedingly difficult. This has led to many students to reconsider their plans. However, those who plan to study abroad can opt for online admission for the initial part of their course or can defer their plan for a full year.
Studying online reduces the added living expenses, it also reduces the multi-cultural experience of staying on an international campus.
The on-campus studies are expected to resume in full-swing by 2021 while most of the institutes have offered their traditional courses online to the current and upcoming batches.
Universities, to enroll more students for the batch of 2020, have offered several concessions in terms of fee-waivers and admission based on a provisional degree. They are also accepting English proficiency certificates beyond IELTS and TOEFL.
Australia offers fee-waivers
Many universities in Australia are offering fee-waivers and monetary support with the availability of online degrees. Deakin University has offered easy exit options from the courses offered to them online. They have offered a refund if the student decides to opt-out of the courses only if the student chooses to enroll in another course within a year from the date of deferment. Deakin has announced a support of up to AUD 25 million for international students who might be facing hardships because of the pandemic.
While the Deakin University is accepting enrollment for July 2020, they have anticipated a dip in the number of enrollments said Ravneet Pahwa, Global Deputy Vice President and CEO (South Asia), Deakin University.
She said that the students should not worry about the relevance of their education because of it being online. There is equal weightage of the online degree as well as the on-campus degree. A Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) is provided to the students for student visa purposes after accepting the offer for the online to the on-campus degree.
An Australia based Business school, LaTrobe University, is offering scholarships worth 30 per cent of the entire tuition fee of the program, including for those students who have started courses online. The introduction of a flexible refund policy by LaTrobe to support the recruitment of students in the online subjects, includes full refunds for withdrawals before the census date.
Macquarie University is offering full time courses like Global MBA and our Bachelor of Arts completely digitally via the platforms of Coursera and Open Universities Australia. The university is also offering a scholarship of 25 per cent of the fee for the entire course.
UK offers provisional admissions
Universities of the United Kingdom (UK) have offered several relaxations, counselling, and special adjustments for those students who are affected by COVID-19 including those students who are waiting for their results.
Karen Blackney who is the Head of UEA International, University of East Anglia (UEA), UK, said that there is a decrease in the number of students who want to physically come overseas for studies in the current academic year. The UEA, to ease the application process, has started accepting online copies of degrees or certificates with the consideration that the original ones will be delayed. This allows the way to provisional admissions.
The University of Portsmouth has offered MA International Relations through the online mode which is one of the most sought-after courses.
The university has considered the student’s inability to appear for the IELTS test and therefore, accepted a lot of English proficiency tests. To address the queries of international students facing issues in online admission, the university has counsellors and academicians to help the students. The university has refuted any fall of numbers in the number of applications.
Vanessa Potter, Director of Communications and External Relations, University of Essex has said that the university is revising almost all its courses so that they can be offered in a blended format to ensure that all programmes are covered and our students are prepared for a post COVID world.
Dual-delivery methods will be used by the University for 2020-2025 to ensure the smooth conduct of education free of any disruptions. The University is also providing alternative arrangements based on individual circumstances for those students who are facing difficulty due to the current pandemic.
Career support in the US
The University of South California, Viterbi School of Engineering has provided an online learning environment. It offers 40 graduate degrees in this hybrid mode. The computer science programme is one of the top picks of the university’s online offered courses.
The dean of the engineering school, Yannis C Yortsos, said that digital classes do not mean a lack of exposure. The iPodia programme combines classrooms from across the globe; BITS Pilani is involved in this programme from India. This programme is offered by the university since 2009.
Les Roches Marbella of Spain has claimed the have created an immersive experience with the help of virtual reality to make the future students and their families visit the campus digitally. It can prove to be a great alternative to open days