The QS survey of prospective international students is an ongoing one, and it aims to find out how the students’ plans have been affected due to the pandemic.
Coronavirus impact: Students have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A majority of the students, who have been planning to begin their higher education abroad this year, have postponed their plans till the situation improves. According to a survey being carried out by British university ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), which bring out the World University Rankings every year, as many as 61% of the Indian students who were planning to study abroad have decided to defer their studies by a year, a report by The Indian Express said. Apart from this, 8% students chose to study in a different country, while 7% cancelled their plans altogether.
The QS survey of prospective international students is an ongoing one, and it aims to find out how the students’ plans have been affected due to the pandemic. The report stated that till August 11, the survey had been answered by 66,959 students, of whom 11,310 are Indian.
The report cited the QS’s survey data of Indian students and stated that 49% of them planned to study at the MBA, Master’s and graduate diploma level, 19% wished to research at the Master’s and PhD level, and 29% wanted to study at the undergraduate level. The rest of the students had been planning to pursue foundation courses, vocational education and training and English language studies.
The report stated that almost half of the Indian students, or 48%, did not wish to study their programme online, which was what several universities world over did due to the pandemic. This could be the major reason why most students deferred their plans by a year. The report added that a mere 17% said that they were extremely or very interested in the online programme.
Moreover, 82% of the students stated that they expected the universities to reduce their tuition fee if the classes would be conducted virtually. While 5% said they did not have a problem in paying the same fees as they would have for the on-campus programme, 12% were unsure, the report stated. While 24% said that they expected universities to offer a nearly 50% reduction on tuition fee till the face-to-face classes commenced, 19% wanted a reduction of up to 40% and 20% wanted the universities to offer a discount of up to 30%.
The report quoted the survey as saying that as far as the measures students wanted universities to implement were concerned, the prospective international students did not want virtual classes, but rather said that they would prefer universities holding classes in larger rooms so that social distancing norms could be followed during offline lectures.
The report added that India accounted as the second biggest source of international students. As of July 2018 data of the Ministry of External Affairs, there were almost 7.53 lakh Indian students abroad.