TED NewsDesk, London: Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic and prohibitions based on it, a significant cadre of Indian students traveled to the UK to join various disciplines in the universities. As reported after analyzing the initial weeks of the new academic session, these students are adapting to the mixed approach towards education.
Almost 139 Britain universities constitute Universities UK. As per Universities UK, the recent report and statistics of universities depict a considerable difference between the number of expected candidates and the number of admitted candidates from overseas countries.
With October marking the beginning of Autumn term 2020-21, they informed about the universities taking various steps to support international students, including Indian students.
“My journey to the UK was extremely smooth. I had no trouble at all getting through my CAS [college admissions service], the visa application process, and accommodation booking,” said Rohan, an Indian student at Birmingham City University.
Rohan, who recently came back to the campus to carry on with his curriculum, added, “I felt safe throughout my journey to the UK, with social distancing guidelines being followed, and the immigration process was quick and straightforward upon arrival in London,” he added.
The National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU-UK) is likely to survey students’ experience from India. In the process of reviewing, they found that over 40% embraced the mixed learning approach (online classes along with classes in person). However, approximately 40% of respondents are still hoping to witness an upgraded model of teaching. Only a handful of them faced difficulties in quarantine after reaching the UK with complete guidance and knowledge.
Students seek relaxation in fees.
Comprehending the current situation and lockdown, the students’ association in the UK sought a reduction in fees. Talking about the same, Mr. Karthik elaborated that the students want some relaxation in fees with an expectation to avail of better experiences.
The announcement of the Coronavirus outbreak across some of the campuses caused panic amongst children. The Universities UK raised their concerns regarding students’ safety, leading them to release new guidelines for the universities to provide basic needs during enforced isolation.
International buddy project for students’ safety
As a part of safety measures, the University of Salford established an international buddy project to assist overseas pupils via self- quarantine. The University of Bristol and Cardiff University enabled food and bedding provision for quarantined students.
“Universities have robust plans in place that prioritize the health and safety of their students, staff, and wider community while continuing to deliver a high-quality teaching experience. Our first message to any student is to talk to their university to understand any flexible arrangements and support in place for students depending on their circumstances,” said Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International.
The British Council in India had a discourse with more than 1000 Indian students looking forward to studying in the UK. The chat emphasized health, safety, travel, and modes of education.
“Many universities are geared to deliver, some in person, teaching this autumn term, and will blend face-to-face learning with online technology and tools to support students’ education. This will be regularly reviewed in line with current and local guidance to ensure that teaching is delivered effectively in a safe environment,” said Barbara Wickham, Director, Indian British Council.
Recent data from the Office for National Statistics suggests that the maximum belongs to India among overseas students. With these candidates paying thrice the fees paid by home students, UK Universities might witness greater economic profits.
Out of 2,99,023 sponsored education visas issued by the UK Home Office towards the end of the financial year in March 2020, Indian citizens constituted 17 percent. The number is double to that of the year 2019 yielding 49, 844 grants.
Universities across the globe are busy adopting methods to conduct safe and secure education. Even the students are adjusting themselves to different platforms for teaching-learning processes. According to a UK university survey, over 42% of students welcomed blended learning due to the COVID-19 crisis.