For students looking to study abroad, 2021 has been a whirlwind year for a year. It started with a delayed admission and ended with a lot of policy changes. But as they say, everything is fine and ends well.
In 2021 we welcome a more progressive government in the United States that wanted to make it easier for students to come and become immigrants. The UK has also seen its intake increase more than three times this year, with thousands of our students heading there to take advantage of their post-study work visa. The year ended with Australia finally reopening its borders after two years. With PSW competing and admissions taking place in June versus September-October for the UK and Canada, Australia will miss no chance of getting back students, the second biggest driver of GDP growth!
Let’s take a little closer look at where we stand at the crossroads of December 2021 – January 2022.
Policy brief report
Happy tears were raining down on the students. The world is finally opening up for those who want to hold onto the future, and become global citizens! And it’s not only opening up in comparison to the locks of the Covid era, but pretty much turning the tables over the entire past decade. Heads of state identified and implemented measures that changed a lot.
Canada achieves its 2021 target of 400,000+ new permanent residents: Canada,
About a week ago, it announced that it had met its 2021 goal of over 400,000 new permanent residents in a calendar year. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated that the majority of these requests came from temporary workers already outside the country.
This is very positive because it shows a very promising recovery from the 2020 number of around 180,000 PRs awarded. It not only cements Canada’s status as an “immigration destination” but also gives other emerging destinations a chance to get their money’s worth.
The United States waives mandatory interviews in the visa process: Another welcome and necessary step, the USA recently announced that what was previously a “mandatory interview” will now be on an optional basis, and the decision to interview the consular officer will remain.
This metric, while applicable to most nonimmigrant visas, also sees the validity of F&M student visas extended through December 31, 2022 following the pending backlog.
Australia opens its borders to international students: Miles away from the biggest news in recent times, Australia has opened its borders to international students and has also set up a travel bubble with India to bring in Indian international students.
The Anglo world – aka the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States – has open arms. While other emerging destinations such as Germany, France, UAE and others are building the infrastructure and policies that could give them a seat at this table very soon. What also changes is the “look” of these students.
Whereas in an earlier era, students would rely on “mile-less advice”, or to say whatever advice was readily available around them – now they trust the Internet to do the job. Just this year, we had organic traffic on our LeverageEdu.com platform that grew from 300,000 per month to 7.5 million per month, a massive 25-fold increase.
This statistic, tells you a lot about the student of tomorrow! And when students change, do universities have a chance not to? More than 300 universities attended our UniConnect virtual fairs, which were attended by more than 40,000 students. Of the 300 universities, 220 paid us to access premium features that would give them more control over the quality of students they want to recruit across programs, in line with the type of job opportunities they see being created on their campuses.
This is really a real change! Just like the entire world, students – global explorers – have also found healthcare added to their top priority list. How countries and their leaders react to health crises builds or undermines student confidence. Tripling the UK, and the US losing more than a third is a reflection of that too, not just politics. So, while countries like the UK and Australia will see a lot of interest given their confidence building measures, the US will have to fight a back-and-forth starting in 2022.
In general, students win, they get the opportunity to study the right program at the right university, and most importantly “in the right country”. They now get a fair chance to assess higher education by asking ‘what kind of job do they get’. This new world of study abroad – first info – broken results – is good to look very different from its previous shades!
– Written by Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder and CEO of Leverage Edu
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