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What lies ahead for admissions in foreign universities amid second COVID-19 wave

Admissions in foreign universities aimed second Covid-19 wave. While the situation is worsening in India, foreign universities are looking forward to the September 2021 intake. Admissions in foreign universities are offering flexibilities to students at all stages of the student lifecycle. Now, they have a more extended deadline to submit applications along with a longer window to accept offers of admission and pay the tuition fee. Because of lockdowns in various cities in India, the Visa Application Centres’ (VACs) operations have also been impacted, causing visa approval delays for multiple students.

“The western hemisphere is divided into the green and red zone. The green zone consists of countries such as Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, who have very well-handled COVID-19. Universities in the UK and Canada are offering conditional admission offers to foreign students. Most students had deferred their admission offers in 2020 and will be joining this year, which will increase the competition. Earlier, students used to apply for 3-4 courses, but now universities are asking them to identify their most preferred course while applying,” said Akshay Chaturvedi, founder and CEO, Leverage Edu.

Chaturvedi adds that countries in the red zone such as the US have given a chance to the non-traditional study abroad choices as students are opting for a foreign degree with minimum expenditure. Universities will try to make the upcoming Spring intake as big as the Fall 2021 intake. The UK government has also promised vaccination for all international students through National Health Service (NHS) in the country.

“As for the US, most of the universities are giving application fee waivers and waived off the GRE/ GMAT requirements for masters and SAT/ ACT for undergraduate. Some universities are giving offers to students without the last semester mark sheets also. The UK higher education sector is offering additional scholarships and bursaries,” said Piyush Kumar, Regional Director (South Asia), IDP Education.

Last year, the Canadian government introduced a two-stage visa approval process. Students who cleared the first stage received an Approval in Principle (AIP), which gave them the confidence to accept their offers of admission by paying the tuition fee. Also, even if students attend online classes, that time will be counted as time spent in Canada, enabling them to allow for a work permit after completing their programs. Currently, students have started to get their visa, which means that they can now travel to Canada to attend a face-to-face class.

This year, the University of California and California State University are also planning to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all students, faculty and staff coming to the campus in Fall 2021. Other schools in the US are likely to follow suit.

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