Pandemic led to a new form of education and work mode: remote learning and remote working.
Remote working has helped millions of people to save their jobs. But they have endured pay cuts and loss of employment benefits too.
Remote learning has helped international students to attend lectures online. But online learning is not 100 percent perfect. It has both pros and cons. Let us discuss them one by one.
Online learning helps students to learn at the comfort of their homes.
Students can avoid the transport cost.
Students can maintain social distancing.
Online learning brings challenges due to different time zones. It isn’t easy to schedule online classes for international students.
International students are paying high fees, but they are getting an education that anyone can avail of from Youtube.
Students are not getting individual attention.
International students are angry due to the high college fees
International students have started protesting against the high fees they are paying to colleges. Their protests are valid since classes are held online. As it is, they are paying €25,000 for classes. It is almost eight times over what domestic students are paying. Domestic undergraduate students are paying €3,000 each year. So, you can very well make out the difference.
International students are objecting due to the high fees charged for the online classes. They do not see the justification for paying such high prices. They have only one point. Why would they pay such exorbitant fees for online classes? They are not using libraries or laboratories. They are studying from their home. Plus, they are not happy with the quality of education. Some international students are even claiming that they can get the same knowledge from Youtube. So, they do not see the justification for paying such a fee for online classes.
The condition of international medical students is even worse. They are paying almost €55,000, which is an astronomical amount.
Colleges are in a dire situation
Universities are in a dire situation. The state government is spending less money on the higher education of students. Now that has created financial pressure on the universities. They are getting more financially dependent on international students. Their primary source of revenue is from fees.
On the other hand, international students are not happy with online classes. Somewhere, students are feeling that they are paying more for substandard education. Now that is something that UK Universities need to think about.
International students are feeling like sponsors
International students are not satisfied with the kind of education they are getting from UK universities. They do not like the overall experience.
International students are the heart of the country’s economy. As such, they should get the best facilities and benefits. Colleges should encourage students to attend classes. But the reality is something different from what is happening now.
International students want a reduction in their fees
International students have demanded a 30 percent decrease in fees. Around hundreds of international students have demanded a fee reduction due to the campus’s lack of classes. And they are right from their viewpoint.
Around 500 international students have already signed a petition for a fee reduction. They are feeling like a victim. It is as if they are money pumping machines—nothing else.
Why would international students feel like this? That is the main question.
The course fee for a master’s in finance is €18,000 for domestic students. However, the course fee for international students is €24,000. They have to pay way more than domestic students. But the irony is that they cannot enjoy any facilities. Many of them are back home now.
International medical students have already stopped paying fees
Around 70 percent of international medical students have already stopped paying fees. They have clarified their stand. Students said that they are not paying any international student fees as a mark of protest. Each student has withheld payments worth €55,140 until now.
What is the opinion of the universities?
The universities are not ready to give any refund. They believe that the cost of education has not been reduced. The quality of education is acceptable. It has not deteriorated. International students will get the same value after completing education programs. So, why would the universities reduce their fees? They are not going to reduce a penny henceforth.
A senior spokesperson of the University also said one thing. Due to the pandemic, those who are back home have received discounts on rents paid for the college accommodation. Universities are cooperating with students. Plus, they are planning to start the spring semester provided there are no strict government restrictions.
If the situation of the country improves, then colleges can start face-to-face classes once again. However, much depends on the health and safety guidelines of the government. After all, life is more precious than education.
The international students and universities are at loggerheads. The situation is challenging for international students. But the universities believe that they are doing their best. Professors are delivering lectures online. The administrators are working in the background. They are using the best technology so that online classes run successfully. Universities are trying their best so that international students don’t suffer in any way.
Universities know that international students are the treasures of the country. They want to provide the best education to them. But the pandemic situation has brought a lot of challenges. Students also need to understand that.
International students are angry and sad. Many students have stopped applying to foreign universities. Still, universities are content with the fact that numbers have not dropped drastically. Universities have observed a 4 percent drop in the student enrollment rate. They are fine with it.
The New Year is almost knocking at the door. We do not know what is in store for international students. We do not know when face-to-face lectures will start again. International students are suffering both financially and emotionally. Domestic students are not suffering like them. It is high time universities start thinking about international students. Otherwise, 2021 can bring bad news to the universities.