By Bhavin Thakar, Director, Careerline Education Foundation
It seems that students aspiring to study abroad have put their plans on hold these days due to COVID-19 pandemic. We, at Careeline strongly believe that in fact this is the perfect time to study abroad. We present a detailed analysis for each country herewith.
It has been observed that the social media has totally and systematically paralysed the psyche of a USA aspirant. This is the best time to pursue studies in the US as the US universities and the US government is aggressively promoting their country to attract international students, especially Indians. Changes due to COVID situation are as follows:
- High scholarships by top ranked universities
- Decreased or liberal Admission Requirements
- Students undertaking blended courses (online & offline) shall definitely be eligible to pursue their further studies in the US when the pandemic slows down and the institutions open up for international students.
- Accelerated student visa procedure by US embassy with student’s getting visas within a week of their applying for the same.
- US embassy is granting student visas liberally and the current visa success ratio is almost 100%.
- H1B visa category is not closed but there are only temporary restrictions until 31st December 2020 on it due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Family immigration system is going to be replaced in future with merit based immigration system providing PR opportunities.
Australia is one of the best countries to study in terms of foreign education. Almost all the Australian universities enjoy very high ranking, with 8 of its universities under the top 50 and top 100 universities of the world. These universities offer quality education alongwith prominent scholarships to eligible students. The good point here is that their admission requirement is also quite simple, wherein they just require a decent academics and IELTS score. There is no additional requirement of giving any competitive exams. Australia, one of the first countries to put restrictions on its borders in face of COVID-19, has handled the situation pretty well and they have been quite successful in controlling the spread as compared to other countries. Majority of the Australian states are in favour of opening up the border now as the number of cases so far has been 26,136 and out of them 22,165 are recovered cases. Australian universities are providing admission offer letters within 2 days of the application and have been offering heavy scholarships to attract students in this pandemic situation. Also, Australian embassy has resumed the student visa procedure and lot of students have been granted the visas recently.
Canadian universities provide quality education in affordable tuition fees. It provides an extremely safe learning environment. Canadian government is also quite supportive of international students. Canada is one country that has taken drastic measures to sustain the international student inflow in their country. Canadian government has helped the international students studying in Canada since past one year and who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with CAD 2000 every month since the lockdown. Also, Canadian embassy has been granting AIP (Approval in Principle) to prospective students willing to pursue their higher studies in this pandemic. On the basis of this AIP, students can start their online studies in Canada and then gradually study in Canada when the borders re-open. This online study will not affect their post study work visa right in any way, as the students will be eligible for the same in future.
New Zealand is the world’s second most peaceful country. All the universities of New Zealand are in the top 3% in the world, which provides quality learning experience with practical exposure. NZ qualification are recognised and respected globally. In current covid-19 situation, NZ is the only country in the world, which has the least COVID cases, with a total of 1,767 cases and 24 deaths, while 1,631 people have recovered. This proves that the NZ government gives its citizens’ health the topmost priority. NZ government has provided a fund of NZ$ 51 million to the NZ institutes to conduct research and provide financial aid to its current students. Currently, the NZ border is closed for international students but the universities are accepting international students’ applications so this is welcoming news for aspiring students.
UK is one of the leading nations in terms of international education and hub of top notch universities such as University of Oxford and Cambridge University. The standards of teaching and research are quite high in UK. 4 out of top 10 universities in the world are in UK and it has a solid education system. The universities are periodically inspected to ensure high standards of education are maintained.
- UK has opened its borders for international students and they havealready started flying for September intake.
- UKVI have confirmed that students who had to undertake some of their study online, by distance or blended learning, are still eligible to apply for the Graduate route.
- UKVI have confirmed that Sponsors will be able to issue CAS to students who need to commence their studies by distance/blended learning
- This is permissible where students intend to transition to ‘traditional’ face-to-face learning ‘as soon as circumstances allow’
- This concession has been put in place for the duration of the 2020/2021 academic year, and will be regularly monitored by UKVI.
- Many of UK Universities had issued Scholarships to international students from 10 to 30% to cut down financial burden