Global Education: Where do we stand
Has the Covid-19 crisis disrupted your student recruitment plans?
Not sure how international students may respond?
Disparities can be seen across nations when it comes to the quality of education. This explains why students frequently move to other countries to pursue higher education. Students want to broaden their horizons and career opportunities, learn new cultures and gain a global perspective.
Currently, global student mobility has been severely impacted. The Covid-19 outbreak has led to countries closing their borders and deploying stricter checks and balances for travel and immigration.
The global education ecosystem has been significantly affected and we couldn’t agree more.
Higher education institutes as well as the students are uncertain about what lies ahead. Institutes are using this time to reflect, strategize and plan their next course of action. Students are evaluating their options and proceeding very cautiously.
Whilst we must accept the current situation, it is extremely important to sustain a positive outlook.
Current State of Affairs
Over the last couple of weeks, a large number of global educational institutes and universities have shut their campuses.
Existing students have been asked to switch to online classes. In some cases, students have been asked to vacate campus accommodation.
International students are in a state of limbo and must decide if they can sustain themselves in a foreign country or return to their home country.
The only silver lining here is the clarification from governments, assuring students that online study will not impact their visa status or their post study work rights, and opportunities.
Institutes are witnessing classroom closures, cancellations of student programs and a dip in new student enrollments amongst other things.
Many are facing unprecedented challenges including, health and safety of their staff, enrollments for Fall, transitioning from traditional learning to online learning and communication.
Students are being severely affected. As mentioned by UNESCO, over 91% of the global student population has been impacted.
Types of students who have been or are being affected:
- Students waiting to give entrance and/or English language exams to apply to universities
- Students who have applied but are awaiting results
- Students who have initiated but not completed their admission processes
- Students who have enrolled but are not sure when classes will start
- Students who have finished their Grade 12 exam or are one year away from college admissions and are unsure about what to do next
- Students who are already pursuing a course and are facing a delay in course completion
- Students who are in their final year, having to contend with visa deadlines and the dearth of job opportunities
For every downside, there is an upside. As the outbreak continues to affect our communities and impact our lives, we cannot and absolutely must not break down.
Come what may, people always yearn to learn.
An opinion report by Times Higher Education suggests, while international enrollments may go down, local and domestic enrollments may go up.
For recent graduates, finding a job right now may be a challenge. Students would be keen to pursue higher education and enhance their skill sets and knowledge.
Another report by Times Higher Education shows that there has been an increase in the number of student enrollments for mid-year and 2021 for Australian universities.
Forced idleness and a reconsideration of life and career options may have contributed to this surge.
University Admissions Centre, Sydney reported 3000+ applications for 2021.
Do Indian students still want to pursue education abroad?
As per a recent article in The Print, even in uncertain times like these, students are still keen on studying abroad and receive global education. They are however, also evaluating Indian universities as a backup plan, especially at the undergraduate level.
That being said, local university entrance exams in India also stand cancelled.
Students would rather delay their start date and opt for the next intake than start right away and opt for online classes. Most are firm on continuing with their plans as and when things open up.
The biggest impact is being felt by students who are a year away from joining a higher education program. Their future seems to be in jeopardy as things stand right now.
Such students can go for online upskilling courses in the fields they want to specialize in. They can opt for online industry certifications and bridge the gap in their education timeline.
Chevening, UK government’s prestigious international awards program which provides scholarships to study in the UK, is working towards reducing disruptions as much as possible.
What can you do?
As you look for ways to connect with your staff and students, like everyone else, you find yourself focusing on the health and well-being of everyone, and that is perfectly okay.
Stay informed and understand what students need. Listen to them.
Students trust you and want to hear from you.
You could focus on:
- promoting your institution and programs digitally
- offering flexibility to students when it comes to deferring their programs. A recent QS Survey, suggests that globally, 47% of students may want to defer until next year.
- being flexible around application dates
- keeping the communication alive
- providing timely updates on exams, online lectures and other activities.
- delaying scholarship grants
- most importantly, being empathetic towards the situation
Keep your focus on student recruitment and lead generation steady, through virtual events, digital marketing, online meetings, virtual consultations and meaningful student offers.
As it seems, online education is the big winner in the current situation.
E-Learning is not only for the pandemic, rather it should be applied in a regular fashion. Online education has always seen growth trends even before the crisis and there are many factors which contribute to it.
India has more students than the university seats available and hence, online education definitely seems like a viable alternative.
Universities can focus on providing pre-recorded lectures, course summaries, lecture notes, practical training videos, research guides and more.
We must not lose hope in times like these. Institutes must maintain their standards of excellence, continue providing high quality education, and focusing on student recruitment through virtual mediums.
While taking care of yourself, you need to engage with the students and parents, and proactively listen to their needs.
Despite all the disruptions, students are still keen on studying abroad. However, many are looking to defer their plans to next year.
Online education has now become the “it” mode for virtual learning, conducting webinars, e-meetings and communication.
Don’t lose hope. This too shall pass!
How we can help
At Zista Digital, we support universities and higher education institutes with their student recruitment goals by executing high impact digital marketing campaigns in the Indian subcontinent.
Lead qualification, managed by a team of experienced education counselors, is an important value add; real-time feedback enables us to fine tune our campaigns and deliver better outcomes.
Ultimately, the university gets a bank of pre-qualified leads and can channelize its energy towards meaningful conversations and connections.
Are you ready to increase your outreach?
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