Shift in study abroad choices as new policies are implemented in Australia, Canada, and the UK:

A new policy shift concerning international students in the UK, Australia, and Canada has been introduced, creating a significant impact. According to recent data, students are now evaluating their higher education options in Europe and the United States. A dramatic drop in the interest of students preferring to pursue higher education in Canada, Australia, and the UK has been witnessed. However, the student’s interest in the Netherlands picked up again but is likely to decline due to Dutch universities plans to reduce international enrolment.

Students looking for alternative options:

Around half of the prospective aspiring students are reconsidering or unsure of their plans to study in Canada and Australia. However, the US continues to become the most attractive destination among students aspiring to study abroad.

(Source: ICEF Monitor)

Moreover, European nations have also made their place for being the most popular destination among international students. Among EU nations, Germany (32.6%) stands out as the most favoured, closely followed by Ireland (3.9%), France (3.3%), and other European countries. 

The policy shift is influencing students’ perceptions and behaviours:

The recent survey highlights that changing dynamics and policies in Canada, Australia, and the UK are influencing students to think twice before applying in these countries. The Canadian and Australian governments, until the end of 2023, supported the trend of rising international students in their educational institutions. Perhaps, in the UK, there was a favourable yet unlikely enrolment shift. The Home Office and Department of Education in the UK announced that from January 2024, international students will not be allowed to bring dependents with them to the UK.

All three countries are actively looking forward to controlling immigration. This ambition of the governments of these three countries led to the introduction of some stringent policies. Apart from limiting the number of international students, the policies are designed to clamp down on the interference of unscrupulous agents and institutions. Moreover, the countries aim to increase quality controls across the international education sector.

Student’s interest in studying in Canada is on sharp decline:

According to the research and findings, there is a constant decline in interest in studying in different provinces. British Columbia has seen a sharp drop in the enrolment of international students, followed by Quebec, Atlantic, and Ontario.

                                                                                                                                       (Source: ICEF Monitor)                                                                          

Further, the diplomatic tension between Canada and India has also caused visa processing delays for Indian students. Moreover, the experts in the conference said that there is a growing sense that Canada is not as prestigious as it was among Indian students.

Additionally, the cap introduced on new international study permits most severely affects undergraduate programs. The master’s and PhD students are exempted from this cap, indicating that the number of PhD students will increase steadily.

There is a need for Canadian schools to send out a loud and clear message indicating that they are still open to international students. Moreover, they need to make it clear that graduates from public institutions are still eligible for the PGWP.

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