However, the funding of that education and the returns on investment are affected, according to one recent global study.
Has the global pandemic affected the demand for international education worldwide?
According to a survey of 3,785 high school students (aged 14 to 18) across more than 100 countries in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, North America, and Europe, Africa and the Middle East, demand for international education had remained “relatively strong” in the period between April and May 2021.
The study, supported by other data from the Institute of International Education and McKinsey, cites data showing that 60% of student respondents saying that the pandemic has no impact on their overseas education plans, according to the firm that commissioned the research, Cialfo.
However, 76% of respondents were concerned about not fully enjoying their student experience amidst current circumstances, and 58% were not seeing the value in paying full fees for an online-only experience.
The study also focused on understanding student perspectives on higher education, as well as their reasons for pursuing it. Here are some findings:
- 67% of respondents wanted an international education for the opportunity to live abroad and gain new life experiences, while 53% felt such education offered “better” academic programs. An equal percentage valued the idea of exploring different cultures and making international connections.
- For respondents in the Asia Pacific region, a university’s reputation (72%) and academic requirements (70%) were key considerations when it comes to pursuing higher education overseas. However, more than half of students from the region expressed concerns about job uncertainties in foreign countries (51%), and pandemic-related safety and travel restrictions (50%).
- 68% of respondents said they were relying on their parents to pay for tuition and expenses, while 59% were relying on scholarships. There were some regional disparities: students in Asia (71%) were the most reliant on their parents, while those from North America (61%) were more independent.
- 80% of respondents in the Asia Pacific region said their parents were a deciding influence on university decisions. This contrasts with the other extreme in LATAM (71%) and EMEA (71%).
In the opinion ofthe firm’s CEO and co-founder, Rohan Pasari, students worldwide continue to recognize the value of an international university experience despite the rut in global travel. “There’s nothing like being on campus, but we believe that the future of education will be one which harnesses the best of both online and offline solutions.”
One spokesperson for Brown University said international students can adapt to new methods of teaching, think creatively, build community in innovative ways despite the challenges.