72% students open to choosing hybrid programs to save costs amid Covid-19 pandemic
The United States remains the most favored destination for Indian students even as nearly three in four students are open to choosing hybrid study programs amid the Omicron surge, according to a new survey.
While Omicron has affected 68% of the studentsâ€™ study abroad plans â€” travel, finances, mode of study â€” the US emerged as the most favored destination for Indian students (41 per cent), according to a recent survey by WorldGrad, an overseas education platform. Canada (21 per cent), Australia (18 per cent), and the UK (16 per cent), followed.
This signifies a change in trend in favor of two countries – the USA and Australia, both of which had fallen out of favor among international students during the Covid-19 pandemic, it said.
Read: US remains top choice for Indian students for study abroad (November 16, 2021)
The survey involving over 4,000 students highlights the increasing trend concerning the cost of education playing a deciding role in determining the choice of education.
An equal number of students considered the cost of education and ranking of universities to be the most important factor with a large overlap between the two groups.
Consequently, 72 per cent of all students surveyed were open to choosing a hybrid route â€” part online, part on campus â€” in order to save costs without compromising on the quality of education.
This proportion is a massive 17 point rise from 55 per cent in the last 7-8 months, the survey noted with the pandemic playing a pivotal role in this trend.
Over two thirds (66.8%) of the students said Omicron has impacted their overseas study plans as in many cases parents were uncomfortable with their children moving overseas right now due to safety concerns.
Read: US remains top choice for Indian students; UK sees massive jump (September 27, 2021)
Not surprisingly, the handling of Covid-19 by destination countries was the third most important criterion while choosing a country for studies.
The survey also revealed a surprise finding – 58 per cent of students had a limited understanding of the visa guidelines related to overseas studies.
This asymmetry is caused by the persistent coronavirus which has led countries to change their policy, time and again, it said.