— Written by Eesha Bagga
In a few days, Aditya (name changed) will pass class 12. A couple of months ago, he was elated when he received an offer from his dream college in the United States of America. He had started interacting with his seniors studying there and got in touch with everyone he knew in the US. He had basically planned everything, however, Aditya and his family have to make a difficult call this year. They are not sure if he will be able to join this year. Now, he is planning to look at undergraduation options in India.
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted everyone’s plans across the globe. One particular population getting hard hit are the students passing high school this year. With thousands of Indian students moving to pursue their education abroad every year, India is a country with one of the highest numbers of outbound students in the world.
The pandemic has made it difficult — both for students wishing to pursue their education abroad as well as those wishing to pursue their education in India. Just like Aditya, there are a number of students who will be taking admissions in India now. Even if half of the students decide they wish to study in India, this will be a huge number. Now, imagine, these students will also take the entrance exams for colleges in India, they will also compete for the cut-off in merit-based colleges. Doing the math, it is very likely that the entrance and merit cut-offs for all the top colleges will be higher.
A number of students will now look at deferring their admissions or might want to wait another year to apply for the 2021 admissions. This would make it further difficult for students to get admissions next year as a higher number of students will be competing for the seats available.
If you were planning to study abroad this year, do not give up on the dream just yet. Instead, you can stay prepared by keeping the following three things in mind :
Check their country’s current status report
Since there are restrictions on travel, it becomes important to stay updated about the current status of the country. Top universities in the United Kingdom like Cambridge and Oxford have asked their students to wait till they receive further notice from the government. Even countries like New Zealand who dealt fairly well against the pandemic have not lifted their restrictions on travel hence, the education sector suffered there as well.
Check for the changes in admission procedures
Almost all universities have closed their campuses until the circumstances get better and many of them have appointed different ways for admission. For example – the University of Kent which is admitting students online. Also, some universities like the University of Louisville are arranging virtual visits.
Check for changes in their immigration policy
Countries like New Zealand have advised foreign students to apply for a student visa because of the uncertainty in their immigration policies. They have recommended students to study online (if they are already admitted to any university in New Zealand). Later a student can use it as proof of association and the New Zealand government will consider it while approving or extending his/her visa. Many countries are making similar changes to their policies as well. Thus, we recommend you get to know about their policies before opting for admission.
Covid-19 has forced many countries to change their rules and regulations. To be on a safer side you must keep yourself updated with the latest news on the country you are about to migrate to. At the same time, to create more options for yourself, plan backups in India and prepare keeping in mind the higher competition you may face. It is difficult for everyone, but appropriate planning and preparation can give you an edge over others!
— The author is director – partnerships and alliances, Mindler.
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