Year ender 2021: How Covid-19 pandemic affected International education sector and way forward – India Today

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The education sector has been affected by Covid-19 in India and abroad in countless ways. Be it travel restrictions for students or some policy changes, student education has been through many highs and lows.
From the year 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has put restrictions on the traditionally practiced classroom-based teaching and learning in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions and has transformed to digital-based education.
Let’s take a look at how the international education sector and foreign education have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the way forward:

“Education is one of the most fundamental needs, and it is generally not impacted by economic cycles. The pandemic did disrupt international education in many ways in the form of travel restrictions, policy changes, and economic challenges. In spite of this, the international student enrolments in most Canadian institutions in 2021 are equal to the pre-pandemic levels. This is due to the student-friendly policies of IRCC and the support provided to international students by the institutions” said Vinay Chaudhry (Overseas Director, Indo- Canadian Business Chamber and CEO- Worldwide EduConnect Inc.).
Way forward:
“For 2022, I believe we will see robust growth in the demand in international education, especially in the fields of business, health, and IT. The most popular programs continue to be MBA, PG Diploma in IT/technology and allied healthcare programs (Nursing/Pharmacy)”, added Vinay Chaudhry.

“Although Corona dampened the student’s dreams of studying abroad in 2020, this year it has accelerated the desire for international education due to access to better careers, prospects of long term stay, better lifestyle, and healthcare as compared to many developing countries”, said Mr Piyush Bhartiya, Co-founder and CEO of AdmitKard.
“2021 has seen over 100 percent growth in Indian students going to the UK and the overall numbers are expected to grow by 30 percent. The global focus has shifted to India as a talent pool and also offers many more opportunities specific to Indian students as well”, added Piyush Bhartiya.

“In the wake of the omicron variant, universities remain vigilant and, as of now, classes continue. In fact, many applicants for Fall 2020 who had deferred admissions to Fall 2021 have started classes now”, added Krithika Srinivasan.

“With the omicron variant increasing worryingly in the UK, travel restrictions are again a possibility, so students are advised to monitor UK government channels for the latest updates. Students traveling to the UK from India will need to pay regard to and comply with border measures that have been introduced”, added Yash Dubal.

“In the current age of tech-celebration (tech-led acceleration), we have seen a revolutionary transition in the international education sector. A silver lining to the ongoing pandemic is that today aspirants have grown more open to a hybrid education system, which powers them to pursue a part of the select course virtually while resuming the rest on-campus. Though soon, hybrid education will leap forward in a big way, it cannot replace on-campus learning experiences” said Piyush Kumar, Regional Director (South Asia and Mauritius), IDP Education.

“Therefore, to cater to the apparent demand for the latter mode of learning, international institutions are adopting more student-friendly policies to help international students accommodate to the ongoing transition. Considering the safety and health of students as an utmost priority, several international higher education institutions have also started providing them with booster shots, creating a safe study environment on the campus”, added Piyush Kumar.

“While Covid-19 brought about its share of difficulties and obstacles, it was heartening to see students retain their interest and remain steadfast in their goal of studying abroad. This was challenging initially, as students had to stay back in their home countries and switch to an online mode of learning, but in recent months they have been able to get back on track and make their way to their preferred study destinations”, said Wendy Dsouza, Senior Vice President for Enterprise Ireland & Education In Ireland.
“Popular destinations for study, Ireland being one, have gone out of their way to change and improvise for their local and international residents. Be it through switching to online classes immediately, providing weekly allowances to international students who lost their part-time jobs, vaccinating a majority of their adult population by this autumn, and providing testing centres on campus- all measures are taken so that international students can be safely welcomed back Ireland and their campuses”, added Wendy Dsouza, Senior Vice President for Enterprise Ireland & Education In Ireland.

“Covid ushered in an era of huge uncertainty with travel restrictions, frequent changes in law, and lockdowns proving to be of huge concern for the students who wished to study abroad. But except for a minor dip during the initial phases of the pandemic, interest in foreign education has remained largely unaffected. Australia’s status as one of the top destinations for studying abroad has taken a hit because of the uncertainty around opening their borders, whereas, countries like the USA and Canada have seen the usual number of applicants” – Tarun Aggarwal, CBO, CollegeDekho.
Read: Studying for an exam? Here’s how to stay focused!
Read: How Covid-19 pandemic has affected foreign education in 2021
Click here for IndiaToday.in’s complete coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
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