In the face of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic, which is currently ravaging the world, a weekly tracking survey by European-based student search website Studyportals, has revealed that about 40 per cent of prospective international students are considering changing their study abroad plans.
This is even as more countries introduce tighter lockdowns to tackle the spread and rising death toll from the coronavirus.
According to reports by the University World News, the figures released on April 14, 2020 by Studyportals, the Dutch-based global study choice platform, show that 40 per cent of potential international students responding to their latest survey said they were changing their plans.
This is up from 31 per cent about four weeks ago, an indication that the figure is rising.
According to the survey, the overall sample of 850 students, most from key source countries for globally mobile students, including Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana and Bangladesh, was surveyed by Studyportals as the number of confirmed cases and deaths from the coronavirus soared in the United States and many European countries.
It shows the number of prospective mobile students saying they are sticking with their original plans to study abroad falling from 69 per cent, when surveyed towards the end of March to 60 per cent in the week of sixth April.
This comparative period coincided with the rapid increase in confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 in key destination countries for internationally mobile students such as the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States.
Of the 307 students telling Studyportals they were reconsidering their options – 152 want to postpone their enrolment until next year or the year after, 128 were considering enrolling on an online course, 66 were now not planning to go abroad and would enrol at a university in their home country, 36 were considering a different country and 33 were not going to study at all. Respondents could give multiple-choice answers.
Senior marketing analytics consultant with Studyportals, Carmen Neghina, remarked that the study will no doubt help higher education professionals understand how “COVID-19 is changing student search behaviours and the likely impact on global and local intakes this autumn and in 2021-22.”