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Has the pandemic changed the game for these five countries that attract international students the most?

While the restrictions due to the health crisis finally seem to be lifting, students are on the starting blocks to send applications to study abroad from the next academic year. Has the pandemic reshuffled the cards of foreign students’ favorite destinations?

A study by the Institute of International Education (IIE), a study center based in the United States, tried to answer the question by examining the situation in the five countries that are major destinations for international students. : Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, reports this article from Courrier International. And it is clear that depending on the policy of opening the borders of each of them during the pandemic, some countries have been able to do well.

Australia given loser

This is probably not the case for Australia, which took longer than other countries to open its borders, underlines this article from Higher Times Education. Closed since 2020, this country’s borders only reopened to international students in mid-December 2021: just in time for the next academic year, but perhaps a bit late for students who had already their demands elsewhere.

The UK and Canada are doing well

According to Janet Ilieva, founder of international mobility research firm Education Insight interviewed by Higher Times Education, the UK and Canada are now considered by potential students “like the most open and welcoming countries”.

Unlike Australia, the UK has never really closed itself to international students. But the rules that have surrounded the pandemic (imposed quarantine, confinements, test costs) may have convinced students not to choose a British university. On the other hand, some were able to follow the courses online between 2020 and 2021, which made it possible, underlines the IIE study, to avoid significant losses in recruitment abroad which were initially feared. at the start of the pandemic.

There have been notable changes in the country of origin of students, with entries from India up 27%, those from China down 5%, overall, and especially those from of the European Union in decline due to Brexit which now obliges them to free themselves from international fees. In total, there were 4% new entrants from outside the UK in 2020-21.

Canada little affected by the pandemic

Similarly, international students also seem to be jostling at the doors of Canadian universities. According to the latest data based on study permit issuance figures, which international students need to travel to Canada, 2021 has seen a strong rebound.

As in the UK, visa issuance has not been halted during the pandemic. But students were able to turn away from this country due to the delay in processing study permit applications noted at the beginning of 2021.

To EUnited States, many new registrations

According to the data, new registrations rebounded strongly in the United States compared to 2020. The 860 establishments surveyed reported a 68% increase in international admissions, points out the Higher Times Education.

But these figures should be put into perspective, as these entries include international students forced to study online from their country of origin due to current travel restrictions.

Germany, the UFO that defends itself well

Germany, emphasizes Higher Times Education, is a UFO in this analysis of the recruitment of international students during the pandemic. The reason for this is that German universities, which take in fewer foreign students than others, are not dependent on income from international students like English-speaking faculties. And according to data from residence permits issued to students, students have continued to travel to the country during the pandemic: in 2020-21, the total number of foreign students increased by around 2%.

The best cities around the world for students

One of the reasons for these good results is said to be due to Germany’s decision to exempt international students from travel restrictions, even if they are from countries or regions with a high incidence of Covid. Another factor should also be taken into account: the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, which could allow other European countries to benefit from a Brexit effect, especially since the countries of continental Europe are proposing often low tuition fees and courses in English.

According to Meti Basiri, co-founder of ApplyBoard quoted by the British media, there is no reason why Germany and other large continental systems, such as France or the Netherlands, should not become serious competitors. for English-speaking countries, as international students are now looking for cheaper courses due to the economic impact of the pandemic. France, which welcomed 365,000 foreign students in 2021, could perhaps ride the trend.

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