Report Says Canada, UK & US See Increase in Number of Int’l Students, but Not Australia & New Zealand

International Students

The international education sector in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic as more international students are heading to these countries, new research by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University has revealed.  

The report “Student, interrupted: international education and the pandemic” looked at the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand as some of the most popular study abroad destinations, Erudera.com reports.

According to research, all of the abovementioned countries have experienced a decrease in the number of new international students in early to mid-2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the UK, Canada, and the US have received more international student visa applications despite the COVID-19 pandemic, while Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, continue to experience a decline in the number of international students.

“In the case of the UK, new international students are 37% higher than pre-COVID. By contrast, new student visa applications for Australia have plummeted by 70% in the 12 months to September, 2021,” the report reads.

The author of the report, Peter Hurley, said that it was expected that many students who planned to study at Australian universities will move to other countries.

“Part of the reason international students pay high fees is to experience a different culture and, for many, to immersive themselves in a country with a different language. They can’t do that when they are studying online,” Hurley said.

Commenting on data, Hurley said that it shows that international students are looking to pursue studies in other countries that are open and where they can travel and enjoy the whole international student experience.

The research indicates that the Australian education sector and businesses that are supported by international students are likely to lose $20b a year until the borders reopen.

Data also show that the number of Chinese students studying abroad remains below levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Differently, the number of students from India and Nigeria has reached record levels, meaning that India has overtaken China as the main source country to send international students abroad.

According to the report, new student visas from China continue to be 25 percent lower compared to levels before the pandemic erupted.

Australia has reopened its borders to 133,000 international students today, after nearly a two-year ban, many of whom will have access to campus for the very first time. The country closed its borders on March 20 last year.

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