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World preps for rebounding student mobility

The international education industry is on the rebound thanks primarily to the prevalence and availability of vaccines that protect against COVID-19.

According to ST Magazine, global student proposals in 2020 reached a pinnacle in late January and never rebounded for the remainder of the year. By April 2020, according to the same report, proposals had plummeted due to worldwide COVID lockdowns.

As countries continue to open their doors to international students, some are offering vaccines to students upon their arrival, while others are still navigating how to implement vaccine requirements.

Currently, more than 3.35 billion doses of 16 different vaccines have been administered worldwide, with some vaccines requiring two doses and others requiring only one. The U.A.E. leads the world in vaccination rate with an average of 162 doses delivered per 100 people, while popular study destinations like Canada (110 per 100 people), the U.S. (100 per 100), and Australia (34 per 100) are seeing stagnating numbers despite the widespread availability of the vaccines.

Through it all, the students are determined to move forward in embarking on their overseas studies, and countries are devising plans to accommodate them.

As a part of Canada’s International Education Strategy, the country has continued expanding its Student Direct Stream by adding seven new countries to the programme. As of July 5, the country relaxed its quarantine rules so that international students who are fully vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Astra Zeneca, and who test negative for COVID upon arrival, may forgo quarantine. Many provinces in Canada are also offering vaccines to international students studying there.

In the U.S., vaccination and quarantine policies vary by school, with over 500 colleges and universities requiring their students to be vaccinated prior to arrival. Some schools may require revaccination if the student’s previous vaccination is not one approved for use in the states. Remote learning and school-sponsored quarantine are also on the table. The Chronicle of Higher Education is keeping a list.

South Australia’s safe arrival plan includes a “quarantine hub” that houses up to 160 students.

The “green list” in the UK’s colour-coded system continues to grow.

Indeed despite the many challenges and setbacks facing students, agents, and institutions, the desire for students to cross oceans and borders in pursuit of education has not been stifled. International education is well-positioned to come out of the pandemic stronger than ever.

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