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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the decision of 48.46 per cent of Indian students who aspired to study abroad.

This has been stated in a report by the QS-ERA India Private Limited, which comes out with coveted global ranking for educational institutions.

As per the report titled ‘Indian Students’ Mobility report 2020: Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education Choices,’ the significantly lower return of investment in an already expensive international higher education domain coupled with further reduced chances of employability in the post-COVID-19 world have a key role to play in this shift.

“While there is likely to be a demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) based professionals, it might not be the same for non-STEM courses which resonate with the higher percentage of students in the latter category to reconsider their higher education plans,” the report added.

According to the report, while higher education institutions might adapt sooner or later to the e-learning practices, it might take a relatively long time to come to terms with the drastic changes in the student mobility for higher education.

“It is no longer a mystery that global travel is a key factor in the spread of communicable disease. The repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to produce pronounced changes in teaching and learning practices for all levels of education,” it added.

Nine parameters were considered to carry out the study which includes safety, employability, reputation, university life, infrastructure, good weather, social life, public transport, and nightlife.

As per the report, employability, reputation, and the desire for a better social life were dominant factors motivating Indian students to pursue higher education abroad.

The last few years were reportedly witnessing a dip in the numbers which was supposedly related to the factors like changes in the political order, anti-immigration policies, threats of terrorism and changing world economic landscape, it added.

The sudden upheaval in the student mobility due to COVID-19 pandemic has been far more impactful than any of these factors that influenced students’ aspirations to migrate, it further added.

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