As per a new survey conducted by HousingAnywhere, international students are ready to brave COVID to start their education. According to this report, nearly 65% of students were not willing to change their relocation plans. All the students were on the way to finalizing their relocation plans when the pandemic struck.
The survey included responses of 110 people from various parts of the world. All of them wanted to relocate between September 2020 and January 2021. Students and young professionals were a part of the group interviewed.
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Health and Safety are Crucial
The COVID-19 concerns remain a top priority for all the respondents. Though they want to shift as soon as they can, they are worried about health concerns. They are trying to find out details about the country’s health conditions and preparations to tackle the pandemic.
Travel options from the other country to theirs and the news sources are all on top of their concerns. HousingAnywhere deduced that these respondents needed this information to ensure their well-being in a new country amidst the turmoil.
However, 34% of the respondents displayed a reluctance to travel abroad. A whopping 97% cited COVID as the most significant cause of worry for them. One third said that a drop in COVID cases would make them confident enough to travel again. Another 19% said that they were quite scared of contracting the virus upon traveling.
It is interesting to note that 15.4% felt that others’ carelessness and disregard of laws were stopping them from executing their plans. The rest said that they would not travel despite whatever happened. The only conditions in which they would travel was if a vaccine was discovered.
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Support Needed to Travel Again
As part of this research, all respondents reiterated what kind of support they expected whenever they moved to a new place. The eager respondents reiterated that they would want their landlord to provide them with masks and gloves.
Also, bikes at the property and pick up from the airport so that they do not have to use any public transport. It is evident that the respondents are worried sick about COVID-19 but cannot deny their chances of studying abroad.
At the property, they expect Wi-Fi, sanitization, home cleaning, and a 24-hour waiting period in between one tenant leaving and another coming to stay. As per HousingAnywhere, this was an indication that the respondent’s concerns were addressed; they would be willing to stay.
In its conclusion, the report said that students are willing to start their career once again. The enrolments for Universities all over Europe are on the rise. In such times the students, though wary, will slowly begin to finalizing their travel plans. However, this would happen only when they feel comfortable enough to travel and take a risk on their health.
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Studying in the UK
Apart from this, another study conducted by Student Hut reveals that UK students are continuing with their plans to start classes in September. Nearly 92% of the students who had prior plans to start the session from September confirmed that they would stick to the program.
3% said that they wished to change their course subject while 1% wanted to change the university. But, 3 out of 5 students also said that they would be happy if their course starts in October, face to face.
As per Katherine Nicholls director of research at Student hut, the immediate concerns of students were different. They were more worried about are if Universities would grant leniency in terms of grades and when the new session will resume.
They were also worried about social events, holidays, and finances. The survey also focussed on learning the student’s priorities with regards to studies. Students’ prime concerns were online learning options, student support, and virtual open days.
Results were based on a study conducted on 289 students in the age group 16 to 39 years. Half of these students were in the sixth form or college, while the rest were mostly undergraduates. Only 5% of the latter pool were postgraduate students.
Among the postgraduates also four out of five students are planning to continue with their study plans.
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Will UK Universities Start Undergraduates Online Studies?
In early April, Guardian had reported that Universities in the UK were planning to conduct Online classes in Fall. The article cited that many institutions were keen to start first-year degrees online. Once campuses would open in the second semester’s formal classes could be resumed.
The Director of Higher Education Policy Institute, Nick Hillman, said to Guardian that the Universities were worried for students as all their plans had been affected.
On the other hand, Sunday times said that one out of six students were willing to defer their degrees by a year. The students, in this case, were concerned about the health scare and did not want to take risks.
How the pandemic spreads along with the University’s safety measures would determine the student’s stance on the same.
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COVID-19 has impacted people’s lives rather severely. Students are one of the worst affected categories as their entire year is at stake. In such a situation, some of them have patiently waited for things to settle down. They are amongst those who will travel only when the conditions are conducive.
However, there are still a few who are unable to wait any longer. They are willing to travel but expect certain conditions are met. If the other country’s government is ready to support them, they can travel and pursue their dreams once again. The call, therefore, rests on the citizens and authorities of the visiting country.
In the UK, students are ready to start their college, but they expect the universities to enforce adequate safety measures. There are a few who are okay with deferring their degrees by a year, but that is only a small proportion.
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If the Governments can create arrangements conducive to making the stay of students pleasant, then the decision would be easy to take. Students would find it easy to take the leap required to pursue their career goals.