Institutions can find further information and guidance on UUK’s Covid-19 pages, including international FAQs.
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In this section you can find information from our partners IDP Connect, QS and British Council about the ways in which international student sentiment towards studying in the UK is changing during the pandemic.
On 14 July, IDP Connect published a press release focusing on the second instalment of their International Student Crossroads survey.
The second instalment found that 'student confidence has increased since the last survey, with 74 per cent now expecting to commence their studies as planned, up from 69 per cent in April.'
Findings from the survey are:
· Students are continuing with their study plans - student confidence has increased since the last survey, with 74% now expecting to commence their studies as planned, up from 69% in April.
· Students are mostly willing to quarantine as opposed to deferring their place - 77% indicated they would be willing to quarantine but this did vary noticeably by country of origin, with 79% of Indian students responding positively to this question but only 55% of Chinese students.
· Students willingness to undertake a blended course of study is increasing - the percentage of students continuing their study plans to the UK and willing to initially undertake online learning and then transition to face-to-face when possible has increased to 43% from 27%.
· The perceived welfare of international students in the UK has increased but it's relative position amongst competitor destinations has not - the UK's perception score has increased by 0.6 points from 5.7 to 6.3 out of 10 between April and June but this still leaves it in fourth place behind Canada, New Zealand and Australia respectively whose scores have also increased.
More information is available here
The British Council is carrying out student sentiment surveys and webinars highlighting changing attitudes towards studying in the UK in different countries and regions.
The latest survey was carried out with over 15,000 students across eight East Asia markets.
A video summary of the results can be found here.
The impact of the coronavirus on prospective international students
QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) is conducting an ongoing survey of prospective international students to reveal how attitudes and responses to Covid-19 are shifting.
The latest report, 'The impact of the coronavirus on prospective international students' is a follow-up report that focuses on the results of the ongoing prospective international student survey, representing anoverview of responses collected between mid-February and May.
These results show a growing number of prospective students are changing their study plans due to the virus.
You can download the report here.
How international students are responding to Covid-19
The results from 16 April showed that:
53% of respondents have stated that the coronavirus has impacted their plans to study abroad.
This is up from 35% on 12 March, and 27% on 26 February.
A key message from the findings is that ‘international students may be deferred but they’re not deterred’, with almost half of those who say their plans have changed indicating that they now intend to delay or defer their entry to next year.
You can read more about the findings and download the report here.
This report highlights key findings from China, the European Union, India and North America.
You can download the report here.
This interactive dashboard from Studyportals shows international student interest by country over time.
Tips for using this dashboard: you can use the scroll bars at the left and bottom of the frame to move across the dashboard. For the best experience, view in fullscreen mode (button in bottom right corner).
The QS report ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Global Higher Education’ includes institutional responses to Covid-19.
In this section you can find regional and country by country data in the form of interactive maps and written updates. Information is collected from the UUKi team and partners British Council and IELTS.
The British Council are producing and regularly updating Inward Mobility 'heatmaps' to help inform the UK higher education sector on how best to work with each country given local policies and practice.
The heatmaps can be viewed here.
The British Council
International Education Services platform provides regular updates on the Covid-19 situation in different regions. Log in may be required to access these updates.
MENA - 21 September
East Asia - 21 September
South Asia - 18 September
Europe - 16 September
Up to date information about IELTS testing can be found here.
This includes information about where testing has reopened, where testing is still suspended, and the new IELTS Indicator online test.
Many UK visa application centres have now reopened around the world. To ensure you always have the most up to date information on which VACs are open, please check the following websites:
For Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East, visit TLS Contact.
For all other countries, visit VFS Global's website. Additionally, you can search by country or region.
You can also find visa application centres on gov.uk.
In this section you can find information and resources relating to student mobility.
UUKi has conducted three surveys on institutional outward student mobility plans for the academic year 2020-2021. The results of these surveys are available below:
For more information please contact the outward student mobility team.
FCDO travel advice: the FCDO guidance (formerly FCO) for British people travelling overseas during the pandemic can be accessed here.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, the FCDO (formerly FCO) has issued two global travel advisory notices, advising British people travelling abroad to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available, and advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. Most recently, the FCDO (formerly FCO) advised that travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.
DfE guidance on travel in educational settings
Home Office COVID-19 guidance: Tier 4 sponsors, mirgrants and short term students
OfS guidance about quality and standards (includes placements)
OIA guidance on complaints - includes study abroad
SLC COVID-19 guidance
SLC COVID-19 FAQs
SLC FAQs on gov.uk website
UK National Agency for Erasmus+ COVID-19 page
UK National Agency for Erasmus+ FAQs
European Commission Erasmus+ Impact of Coronavirus FAQs
European Commission Consquences for Erasmus Mundus projects guidance
ESN report on the impact on student exchanges in Europe
Open letter from EAIE to the European Commission
EAIE report Coping with COVID-19: International higher education in Europe
French Authorities message to international/exchange students in the UK
SIHO distance learning and accessibility resource
DAAD report: COVID-19 and the impact on international student mobility in Germany
European University Foundation, Movetia, the Swiss National Agency and the University of Porto, Erasmus+ COVID mobility status website
Entangled solutions institutional change and impact map - US
NAFSA financial impact survey. Covid-19 will cost US international education $4.5bn, of which $1bn due to cancelled or shortened study abroad programmes
US ECA guidance on the limits of online coursework for J1 students going to the US (FAQ under Future Programmes)
US Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of individuals on certain J visas until 31 December
Chronicle of Higher Education database of fall reopening plans at US colleges and universities
The following resources are recommended by UUKi Outward Student Mobility network members.
Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Project (E+VE) and their information webinar series
The Stevens Initiative resources and webinar on campus internationalisation and virtual exchange
EADTU virtual mobility resources
EAIE's webinar series and
community moment webcasts
Forum for Education Abroad webinars including their
webinar on virtual exchanges and Summer 2020: ideas and resources
SUNY Centre for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
The sector has had to rapidly transition to online learning in a matter of weeks. Many international students have returned home, new international students may not be able to travel to the UK in September, and TNE students will also be at home, no longer learning in their UK partner’s institution in country. This sudden shift has led to a number of challenges and concerns, ranging from concerns around accessing the right hardware and software, connectivity issues, subject matter challenges, ensuring a fair and transparent exams and assessment process, ensuring online learning is recognised as a valid form of high-quality study around the world, and ensuring best practice for both students and staff.
This section provides links to guidance and support from the range of organisations working in this field, and additionally identifies country support guidance and advice where known. Where questions remain, UUKi are working with the government and our partners to establish clarity and certainty.
Recognition of online learning
UK Naric published
guidance on recognition issues in international distance learning.
Connectivity and access to content
Jisc have produced guidance for UK education providers in delivering remote access to Jisc-licensed products to students outside the UK.
Jisc alongside Universities UK, Association of Colleges and ucisa
called on the government to make all education websites free for UK students.
Jisc has created a Microsoft Teams
planning for coronavirus community. This team is for Jisc members responsible for ensuring organisational continuity during the transition to online delivery, including a channel on international education.
Jisc have published
guidance on delivering remote access to Jisc licensed content to students outside of the UK.
Standards, exams and assessment
initial advice for providers on mitigating the immediate disruption of studies to TNE students caused by COVID-19. This advice looks at the balance between the need to maintain academic standards and the safety and wellbeing of staff and students affected by the COVID-19 outbreak
QAA guidance can be found here.
QAA have compiled examples of practice and approaches to learning and teaching, assessment and feedback, and student support in view of the pandemic from institutions in different countries.
QAA and UUK meet regularly with DfE and equivalents in the devolved administrations to tackle issues related to Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs). The group has prioritised those PSRBs that (a) affect key workers, mainly healthcare related and (b) have a high volume of students (e.g. teaching). UUKi are making sure the international perspective is heard, including the impact on transnational education.
QAA is also running an ongoing PSRB forum.
Regulation of transnational education for English universities
The Office for Students (OfS) have published
guidance on their regulatory approach in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Universities and colleges in England are expected to report on significant changes to the delivery of higher education, including on any relevant matters relating to transnational educational activities.
OfS expects providers to apply its guidance about quality and standards during coronavirus (COVID-19) to their transnational educational activities, although they recognise that the specific actions taken by an awarding body to maintain quality and secure standards may need to vary for different delivery locations. In particular, when universities decide that it is not possible to continue delivery, including for transnational students, they should refer to the OfS's updated guidance on reporting requirements.
OfS has produced a
briefing note on the steps universities and colleges are taking to support international students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The note does not represent regulatory advice or guidance. Although primarily directed to international students in the UK, some information applies to students temporarily studying transnationally through online learning.
Student complaint handling for English and Welsh universities
Students studying overseas or via online learning for degrees awarded by UK providers must have access to complaints mechanisms under the same term as UK-based students. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for England and Wales (OIA) has published a
briefing note on possible complaints arising from Covid-19, including accommodation, teaching, assessments, study abroad, student welfare and internal processes.