The Covid-19 pandemic has surely put a halt on every international student’s plan to study abroad. For the universities across the globe, this has been a challenging experience too as they had to shift their ways of teaching and had to move to the digital way of imparting education. This is the new normal but practically not all courses can be taught with that ease online. Majority of the Indian students are seem to be interested to move ahead with their education plan as soon as they are allowed to. However, we are seeing a change in the country a student wishes to choose for overseas education.
Student’s country preferences have been changing overtime but the reasons for the same have changed too. Before Covid, the main reasons to change their preferences has been the variety of courses available and the ease of admission process. The shift has been from choosing the top 4 countries that were the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia to eventually moving towards like Germany, Ireland, South Korea and Singapore. This shift usually was seen towards 2016 and was compared to the early 2000s.
But Covid-19 has made this shift even more prevalent.
Overtime, the factors that affected students’ university and country choices have also been seen to have been affected. Ease of admissions, immigration, education quality, costs, etc used to be the primary concerns before. However, since 2020 students’ major concerns have turned out to be safety and minimum risk while choosing their destination. Hence, countries that have dealt with the pandemic efficiently and have had lower numbers of covid-19 cases, such as New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Japan, etc are more preferable and are in high priority for the students.
New Zealand currently has over 13,500 Indian students studying in its 8 universities and 14 polytechnics contributing to the NZD 5 Billion education sector. There was a rise by 63% of Indian students seen in 2019. These 8 NZ universities rank among the top 3% of universities in the world and thus the quality stands out.
With the world fighting the covid crisis, one country that brings hope to the students in these trying times is New Zealand. The young and efficient governance in the country has not only provided care and protection to its citizens, but also to the international students making the student health insurance cover Covid -19 related healthcare expenses. Along with the healthcare, the part time students were ensured with the minimum wage subsidy in order to ensure the continuity in income. A lot of the international students were on the verge of visa expiration which was automatically extended due to the lockdown enforced during summer. These measure taken to provide support to the international students have increased the credibility of New Zealand when it comes to choosing a study destination.
As a nation fighting with a pandemic, New Zealand’s performance has outshined many powerful countries of the world which were expected to stand tall. If compared to the US, New Zealand hasn’t been ranking in the health index of the world, nor does it have an experienced leader yet was efficient and successful enough in handling the crises in a much better manner. The crisis management excellence observed by the New Zealand governance has clearly instilled more faith and trust in its public and has set an example of how an inexperienced leadership can outshine years of experience based on the understanding of the crisis and the right approach.
Till now New Zealand has had total 1,974 cases out of which 1,905 have recovered with 25 casualties. These numbers clearly depict the efficiency of the nation as compared to many others. Currently, there are only 44 active cases out of which 42 are at the border because they are the people who have travelled from the other parts of the world. The community number is only 2 (COVID-19: Current cases, 2020). New Zealand has also made put strict restrictions for the migrants. At the moment only, permanent residents and citizens can enter the country. Such strict laws and efficient management of the in-house situation has made it possible for the New Zealand government to handle the situation with the best of it’s ability.