A new study tracking international students’ attitudes and behaviors through the pandemic finds that students are increasingly willing to begin studies online if they can eventually switch to face-to-face learning.
Demand for in-person learning is high, and more than half of international students said they would consider switching destinations for the chance to begin face-to-face learning as soon as possible.
Students are looking for in-person teaching
A new study from IDP Connect provides insights on students’ (1) intentions regarding study plans and (2) perceptions of five major destinations at this point in the pandemic.
A key finding from the study is that international students are eager for in-person classes to resume, and many would be willing to switch destinations in order to receive face-to-face instruction. More than half (56%) said they were likely to switch destinations, and 32% of them said they were “highly likely” to do so.
Students are most likely to consider Canada as a compelling alternative destination (18%); the next most attractive to them is the UK (10%).
Canada also emerged as the destination commanding the highest level of brand loyalty, with 53% of students currently planning to study there saying they are not likely to switch to another destination. Even still, the 47% who show a willingness to consider an alternative to Canada is a large proportion.
Simon Emmett, CEO of IDP Connect, said that the company’s latest Crossroads survey shows that there is “a real risk associated with being perceived as a country that is less ‘open for business.’” He noted that looking across destinations, those with closed borders have lost traction among students: “Countries that have communicated strongly that international students are welcome, such as the UK, have seen a rise in attractiveness compared to countries with stricter border controls, such as Australia.”
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