How COVID-19 is Impacting the Lives of Current and Prospective International Students
#Education | 19 Apr 2021

Ongoing QS COVID-19 research reveals the sentiments and decision-making of current and prospective international students across the globe.

The COVID-19 crisis has significantly shaped the study plans and decisions of current and prospective international students, with students seeking to navigate blended learning, campus closures, and social restrictions with often limited resources and conflicting information.

To understand how these students are addressing the crisis and how institutions can best support them, QS runs an ongoing coronavirus student survey.

In our latest report of these survey findings, COVID-19 in Higher Education: How Current and Prospective Students are Adapting, QS found that 60% of current international students are studying in the country their university is based in and 35% are studying remotely from their home country.

When asked what form this study takes, the majority stated that they are experiencing online learning with 50% being taught entirely online and 26% (up from 22% in September) taught mostly online with some face-to-face teaching.

Of those respondents who were studying remotely from their home country, 8% expect to be able to travel to the country their university is based in October (understandably down from 14% in our September report), 9% predicted November (down from 11%), 15% predicted December (down from 17%), and 30% chose January 2021 (up from 23%).

For prospective international students, 35% had originally intended to begin their studies in 2020 with a range of factors affecting their ability to start their studies, including government restrictions on leaving their home country (32%) and government restrictions on arriving in a new country (30%).

For those respondents whose study plans had been affected by the crisis (69%), the majority now intend to defer or delay their studies until next year (57%) while some intend to study in a different country (13%).