While the Covid-19 leaves everything in a state of confusion, the United States of America’s decision to not let foreign students who will be taking fully online courses, stay in the country, the UK is likely to tap into that resource. Jo Johnson, former Minister and the brother of United Kingdom’s PM Borris Johnson in a tweet came up with a statement that this condition should be seen as an emergency scheme, wherein the foreign students can be transferred to the UK Universities if they meet the criteria. The pandemic has really brought into the limelight the adversities that UK Universities will be facing in the coming months, if students do not enrol.
A study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has predicted that the UK’s higher education sector could incur a loss of at least 3 billion pounds to a whooping 19 billion pounds because of the fall in the admissions and enrolments. The data produced by the IFS predicts that most of the admissions come from India. While predicting, they were quoting from last year’s data where there was a jump of 93% of admissions recorded in 2019, in contrast to a lesser number recorded in 2018. In a recent upgradation of policies, the UK is ready to let international countries stay on in the country for more time than before. Students who would be finishing their PhD by 2021, can stay up to 3 years in the country, while the students who finish their graduation and under-graduation can stay for two years. This is in contrast to the earlier rule where the student could stay in the country for only four months irrespective of their course completion. As the UK government understands, the recuperation from the pandemic will take longer than expected, these student friendly measures by the government are only to foster more admissions into their Universities.
The statement made by US President Donald Trump about foreign students undertaking fully online courses to ‘leave’ the country has been offensive to many student communities. While some countries like Australia are looking to send the foreign students back to their home countries with no specific timeline for their return, the others like Canada are continuing with the process of expediting student visas. We really have to wait and watch how things are going to turn out.