Foreign universities are gearing up to aboard international students amid Covid – 19
From easing out the admission criteria to a reducing fee for online semesters, international Universities are luring foreign students
The COVID -19 pandemic as disrupted the education plans of around 290.5 million students worldwide. Anxiety has gripped students who were preparing to get admission this year to study overseas are anxious. Top ranking universities including Harvard and Columbia, are preparing to welcome foreign students online. For September intake, several universities are easing out the admission criteria and reducing the fee to attract more students. Universities in the UK, the US and Europe claim that the pandemic has not affected the number of foreign students applications.
“We had a record number of international applicants this year and we have admitted more than 500 new students for the Fall 2020 academic semesters. Some will join us on campus, many will enroll for online courses and some will defer their admission to future semesters,” says Brad Bodenhausan, associate vice president of International Education and Training, Missouri State University, US. France’s Emylon Business School had 292 foreign applicants last year and the number has increased to 367 this year. Besides, the admission process of certain programmes is still going on. Similarly, Bobby Mehta, global director, University of Portsmouth, UK , says that the university has received more applications than last year.
Why enroll for degrees abroad
As the universities are opting for online semesters for foreign students due to travel restriction, full fledged degrees offered in partnership with edtech platforms are being advocated as a viable alternative. These degrees are offered by top foreign universities through online learning content with a slightly lower or similar fee for certifications. However, those who enroll in such online degrees do not have the advantage of a post study visa, which could defer their plans of building their career in a foreign land. “One of the major benefits of studying in the UK through the blended approach is that on successful completion of the students programme he/ she would be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route, which is the new UK post study work visa, provided they are in the UK by April 2021. This option is not available for full fledged online degrees” says Mehta.
Emylon Business School does not advocate online degrees as it takes the opportunity to explore different ecosystem and pedagogies away from the students. “Distance learning for a full fledged programme would not be the best decision students who seek a professional education or study abroad experience,” says Ashley Fenandes, country Head (India).
Reduced fee for online semester
The Missouri State University has introduced alternative formats for the upcoming Fall semesters for both offline and online classes. “Last fall we had 694 online sections, and this fall we will have approximately 920 online sections. We will still have around 3500 seated sections this fall depending on the timeline when the situation normalises,” says Bodenhausen. Besides, the university’s scholarship may be used for online courses. “A reduced fee structure applies for online courses- at less than $3,000 (USD) total per semester for graduate studies and less than $4,000 (USD) per semester for undergraduate studies. Under the new admission criteria, graduate applicants will no longer be required to have GRE and GMAT scores,” he adds.
“France is gearing up for a September intake though Asians students will require closer monitoring and assistance with travel and visa. As per the update from the European Commission on June 12, non – Schengen travel restrictions will be gradually lifted as of July 1, 2020, and foreign students will be authorized to travel to France, their stays will be facilitated and their visas will be processed on priority,” adds Fernandes.