Overseas education in post-pandemic world
Here are the trends you need to know
In the five years before the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a progressive increase in the number of students moving abroad to pursue higher education. However, when the pandemic struck, this number plummeted significantly. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), only 2.6 lakh students went abroad for higher studies in 2020, compared to the 5 lakhs+ students who moved overseas in 2019 – a dip of approximately 55 per cent.
However, now that the crisis has eased and countries worldwide are reopening their borders, the number of students moving overseas is slowly climbing. Students have become far more selective and informed decision-makers when moving to a different country. From the destination to the course, the career prospects, the accommodation, living expenses, job opportunities, and university ratings, they are weighing everything before deciding. On that note, if you're one of the students looking to move abroad, here are 5 key overseas education trends you must be aware of in today's post-pandemic world.
A plethora of course options
In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in the courses that students opt for. Medicine, Engineering, Economics, and Law aren't the only options available. Most universities offer a wide array of courses, including vocational ones like Liberal Arts, Development Studies, Culinary Arts, Architecture, Urban Planning & Sustainability, AI, Data Analytics, and more. So, ensuring you browse through the course options provided by your chosen universities before applying for one is crucial. It's high time you follow your passion, and university course options are creating a conducive setting for that.
Increased preference for various countries
Although the UK, US, Australia, Canada, and Germany remain some of the most popular destinations, there are several other countries that students are now choosing when they decide to move abroad. For instance, the Middle East, New Zealand, European countries like France, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden & Finland), and Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia are becoming increasingly popular. Factors like students' desire to travel and learn about new cultures, explore courses, and career options, etc., influence their choice of destination.
Hybrid learning is the way to go
One of the most significant disruptions induced by the pandemic can be seen in how education is imparted. Today, hybrid learning has gained immense traction among all educational institutions. Students are increasingly choosing universities that offer hybrid learning options. This will allow them to balance their studies and part-time jobs they may take up to support themselves during their time overseas.
Changing scholarship trends
Securing a scholarship is extremely beneficial for an international student as it can make studying abroad easier financially. But until recently, most scholarships were provided to students solely based on their academic performance. Those days are long gone now. Concepts like social scholarships and others where students are judged based on their ability to create positive social impact and other non-academic parameters. These scholarships broaden the boundaries for students and ease the competition bottleneck.
Before going overseas for their higher education, a great deal of preparation is required for competitive examinations like GRE, GMAT, etc. However, after the pandemic, these parameters have changed. Several universities are relieving students of the burden of these examinations, although students will still have to present a strong application.
Moving abroad needn't be an arduous process. Doing your research, preparing a robust application, and analysing all aspects can go a long way in making your study overseas experience a smooth and delightful one. And be sure to keep the aforementioned trends in mind before applying.
(The author is Co-Founder & COO, University Living)