THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
According to a newly published study, international students are increasingly reconsidering their decision to study abroad based on how governments are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey, conducted by think tank QS Quacquarelli Symonds, began in February 2020, and received responses from over 74,000 students globally. Nearly 20,000 respondents listed the United States as their top study destination. Other top destinations included Canada, the UK and Germany.
More than half of students, 56%, said that the way governments have handled coronavirus had caused them to reconsider their decision to study abroad. 28% said government handling of the pandemic didn't make them reconsider, while 16% said they did not know at the time of the survey.
When asked which governments had best managed the virus, only 2% chose the US out of a list of 38 nations. The UK was also only chosen by 2% of respondents, while Canada was chosen by 5%. At the other end of the scale, 32% said that New Zealand was handling the virus well. Second place was taken by South Korea, which was selected by 9% of students.
Discussing the findings, Nunzio Quacquarelli, CEO of QS, said that "At a time when the US has had an acceleration of confirmed coronavirus cases, health and safety should be the highest priority for US institutions. Prospective students from around the world, many still looking to the US as their top study destination, are watching as this situation unfolds."
The full report from QS also contains information on different questions asked during the survey, including on how prospective international students perceive the move to virtual learning, what they are looking for from higher education institutions during the pandemic, and other relevant subjects for international study.
To see the full report, go to info.qs.com/rs/335-VIN-535/images/What-COVID-19-Means-for-International-Students-Interested-in-the-US.pdf.