Note From the Editor
The surge of COVID cases has prompted classes in HEIs at major study destinations to revert to the online setup. Because of this shift, some international students now in Canada are in limbo as the majority of them expected that they will be experiencing their most-anticipated in-person classes. Although the move is aimed at preventing the omicron-fuelled rise in COVID cases, some cannot help but feel disappointed at the thought of being stuck in their houses again and receiving remote education.
Albeit this is the case for many, some foreign learners express that they have become accustomed to the remote arrangement and that this unwelcome change will not be as unbearable as in the early days of the pandemic.
US: Over 1 Million Fewer Students Pursue a College Degree Than Before Pandemic
The United States experiences its biggest two-year decline in enrollement in more than five decades as over a million fewer students pursue a college degree, according to a recent report. Undergraduate enrollment dropped by 6.6 percent versus the same period in 2019. Additionally, US HEIs experienced a decline of almost 500,000 undergraduate students during fall 2021.
Report: 50% of International Students in UK Didn’t Feel Completely Ready To Start Academic Year
A report titled “Where next? The experience of international students connecting to UK higher education” conducted by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) revealed that 50 percent of the international applicants to universities in the United Kingdom did not feel completely ready to start the academic year. Seventy-two percent of international students in the UK said that they needed more information about what their year would look like and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, 71 percent of domestic students for 2022 said they want more information and guidance. During the 2021 application cycle, a total of 142,925 international students applied to UK universities through UCAS, of which 70,005 were placed by the end of the cycle.
Countries Are Relaxing Restrictions After Omicron Spikes
Coronavirus cases have hit global records. Some countries have tightened measures, while others are pushing to relax rules because of the omicron variant’s perceived milder infections and high national vaccination rates. France’s lower house of parliament on Sunday gave final approval to the government’s latest measures to slow the spread, including a “vaccine pass” that will replace the current “health pass.” It is intended to tighten restrictions on people who remain unvaccinated. In Denmark, infections with the omicron variant are milder, and the situation in intensive care units is under control, according to Health Minister Magnus Heunicke. Rules across Spain vary. While the capital, Madrid, has only a general mask requirement despite a seven-day incidence rate of more than 1,100, several other regions in Spain have introduced more stringent rules. In Asturias, indoor dining is no longer permitted, and Catalonia has a nighttime curfew.
International Students Welcome Lifting of Fortnightly Cap on Hours of Paid Work
Because of the pandemic-induced workforce shortages in Australia, the 40-hours-a-fortnight cap on working international students have been temporarily lifted. For some students, this has been an amazing opportunity especially for those who would benefit from an additional income considering the economic impact of the global health crisis. Meanwhile, a higher education expert stresses that it remains important for global learners to prioritize their studies.
International Students Stuck Overseas Plead for Clarity About When They Can Come to NZ
International students stuck overseas are pleading for clarity about when they can come to New Zealand. They say the suspension of visa processing for people outside the country until at least August means some students will spend their entire time studying at “Zoom University,” and an online petition has gathered hundreds of signatures. The Ministry of Education said in a statement that international students offshore currently cannot apply for student visas. It says the government may lift this suspension, in whole or in part, as further decisions are made on the staged border reopening. It also says the third border exception for 1,000 international students will open for submission from mid-January.
As Pandemic Drags On, College Students Feel the Financial Squeeze
Some students and faculty have started to organize around possible legislative solutions that could help the dire financial state of higher education students, although these could be pursued at the next session in 2023. Increasing housing costs, food security, and gas price hikes among other things have been stressing out both domestic and international students in the US as the pandemic persists. Additional obstacles come across global learners’ paths as they are legally bound to not take on more jobs that are beyond assistantships.
The ‘Stress Is Coming Back.’ Students Weigh In on Mental Health on Campus Under COVID
Students in Canada, particularly those from other countries, are concerned about obtaining suitable housing. They claim that finding housing and learning virtually from outside of Ontario, or even outside of Canada, is stressful. And this is on top of the pressures students endure in order to succeed in their academics. On a more positive aspect, several students have grown accustomed to the hybrid method of education over the last few semesters. While the majority of classes were held online via Microsoft Teams or Zoom, some students were able to attend in-person tutorials and laboratories.
Number of Indians Taking IELTS Proficiency Test Increased Over 15% Since Pre-COVID Years
According to government estimates, the number of candidates taking the IELTS or English proficiency test in India to study abroad or relocate to an English-speaking nation has increased by up to 15 percent since the pre-pandemic years. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a worldwide recognized test of English ability for non-native English speakers. More than 10,000 organizations throughout the world rely on the exam as a measure of English language competency. The increase in 2021 IELTS numbers compared to the pre-pandemic typical year is in the range of 10 to15 percent.
The Best Cities for International Students
According to the QS Best Student Cities 2022 survey, London is the highest-rated city among international students. The city has been a student favorite for years and boasts lots of world-class academic institutions for students to pick from. It is home to several major universities, including University College London, Imperial College London, and King’s College London. Munich, Seoul, Tokyo, Berlin, Melbourne, Zurich, and Sydney were also named among the finest study destination cities. The rating considers factors such as student mix, safety, living standards, employer activity, and affordability.
MOE Urged To Act on ‘Trafficking’ of Foreign Students
The Democratic Progressive Party and other civic organizations have urged Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (MOE) to act immediately to prevent foreign students from being compelled to work as cheap labor. According to the groups, the ministry should more carefully analyze universities that seek to recruit foreign students and guarantee that the institutions can provide international students with appropriate courses as well as internship opportunities relevant to the students’ field of study. In a statement, the ministry stated that it will report to prosecutors any university or employer suspected of trafficking foreign students or engaging in forced labor.
Japan To Allow in Some Foreign Students, Making Exception to Ban
Japan intends to admit 87 government-sponsored foreign students, making an exemption to the country’s current entry ban on nonresident foreigners due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students may be allowed to enter the country later this month, and they will be required to be quarantined for 10 days after arriving at hotels provided by their schools. Tokyo made the exception based on public interest and the urgency of the situation. The 87 students have less than a year until they graduate or finish their studies, so the government agreed to let them in so they may complete their education.
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