A global pandemic might have resulted in economies collapsing, jobs being lost, furloughs being extended, but the Global Higher Education seems to have survived this uneventful year. 2020 could have been the perfect year for Indian students who were planning to study abroad, but the pandemic did play the spoilsport. But even with the prevailing uncertainties there is still a rise in the number of Indian students applying abroad for the forthcoming intakes. The trend has certainly changed, rather evolved, but hasn’t declined as was being anticipated initially when the pandemic broke out, earlier this year.

New trend on the growing number of applications of Indian students in global universities these days

Some of the recent trends that have been observed are:

Universities going flexible

In order to ensure that the Universities do not lose out on international applicants, the admission committees of several of the top Universities around the world, turned flexible with the student intake. This trend was observed during the admissions this year, and the same is anticipated for the upcoming intake.

Lowering the admission criteria

Students have struggled this year when it comes to their academic scores and examinations. With exams being cancelled or postponed several times, this has certainly affected the scores that students must have received, and this adversely would have impacted their chances to get the required predicted scores for the leading Universities. Acknowledging the circumstances, it was observed that a number of major global universities have lowered the minimum eligibility criteria for international students.

This measure was taken in light of the anticipation by universities, that international students will find it difficult to meet the existing admission requirements, which would result in a declining number of applications. Some of the leading Universities in the UK went on to decrease the minimum eligibility criteria for Indian students for undergraduate admissions by almost 10%, which was a major relief for the students. Similar approach was taken by Universities in Canada and Australia.

Deferring is not cancelling

It is reported by some of the major Universities that almost half of the applicants this year, received an offer and most of them did pay the admission fees as well. Due to the circumstances, students and their parents are having second thoughts, and health concerns are on the rise, this has resulted in students resorting to delaying their higher education plans where possible. Approximately 50% of students have considered a possibility of a deferral, but the student sentiment is intact. Students are still looking forward to starting their academic journey abroad as soon as it seems viable.

Provisional offers being granted

Universities have managed to get a hold of the student sentiment, and managed to capitalize on the same. Several of the Universities in the USA made Standardized tests an optional component this year, and some universities have done away with this requirement completely. Entrance exams where necessary, have been a major hurdle for undergraduate aspirants applying abroad. Students are not even preparing for exams which can’t be taken online.

This has resulted in International Universities accepting applications from students even without the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL or IELTS scores. In fact, INSEAD, the leading B-school in the world, accepted MBA applications without the GMAT/GRE test results, this was certainly a first. Provisional offers have been granted to the students, and the students can complete the enrollment once they have received the required test results.

Authored by Prateek Bhargava, Founder and CEO, Mindler

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