The world is opening up again. In the last two years, the global ed space has also been filled with uncertainties, travel and financial restrictions. But with the world opening up and restrictions easing post Omicron, foreign universities are once again being flocked to by students.
Amidst all the other checklists and travel documents, students will also have to follow up on vaccination and testing mandates before travel. But for those keen on getting the best out of a global education, that seems to be a fairly easy hoop to jump through.
What drives students to a particular university or a country?
- At the first step, the coursework, ranking, projects, etc., specific to any applicant’s domain and preferences, but that is not all.
- Post-study options and opportunities is also a massive driver. A country that allows its international students to continue working there sees more applicants than a country with stricter immigration policies.
- Language. With English being the lingua franca of the professional world, there is an automatic leaning towards the English speaking nations for many applicants.
- Ease of travel
Keeping these factors in mind, it comes as no surprise that the U.K, the U.S. and Canada tops the list as the most sought after destinations with Australia following closely behind. Here are some of the latest trends observed.
- In the U.K…
- Despite the U.K.’s mismanagement of the pandemic, the country has been prompt in granting vaccine approvals and allowing international students to enter. This pushed U.K. up the list, when compared to Australia which what stricter entry policies.
- The U.K’s Graduate Immigration Route is another major factor as it allows international students to work and explore the country even more.
- Post Brexit U.K. is also grappling with a severe skill shortage which means you have more opportunities.
- In Canada…
- Canada’s immigration policies and you universities have always been made this global ed destination a student favourite. This added to its healthcare system and its management of the pandemic is seeing more students pivot towards Canada than the U.S. Besides, the country is stereotyped for being too polite.
- However, the recent story of three Canadian colleges shutting down, without notice, leaving students stranded is bound to raise a few eyebrows and cause some anxieties.
- In the U.S….
- While the nation’s management of the pandemic was downright terrifying at the beginning, the change of administration has also made it more welcoming for international students.
- Moreover, test optional applications have also eased the burden on students. You can now submit a complete application even if you haven’t taken the SAT or the GRE.
- When applying for a visa, students don’t have to sit through an in-person interview through all of 2022.
- Contrary to the strict “residency requirements”, consular officials will be given more discretionary powers when it comes to the state of student visas. This is an attempt to reduce rejections over minor technicalities.
Besides the English-speaking nations Dubai has surged ahead in the field of global ed. Though not a primarily English-speaking nation, Dubai is becoming a hub of higher ed opportunities with its own universities and the Dubai International Academic City wherein many universities from the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia have opened international campuses. This gives applicants the dual advantage of getting the benefits of global ed, while making travel easier, especially if you are looking at students from India.
Another development that has been brought on by the uncertainties of the pandemic is the twinning programme or hybrid modes where local universities are partnering with international ones. Credits can be transferred after completing a certain portion of the course in the home country.
As with the other fields, global ed is also on the mend as we push past the traumas of the pandemic, in search of better futures.