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Impact of Covid-19 on International Students in the UK

The United Kingdom has seen acute effects of the Covid-19 virus in the Higher Education Sector. Most of the universities are expecting a drop in the number of overseas applicants. The situation could worsen if the covid-19 outbreak happens in the year 2021 also. In this article, let us evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on International Students in the UK.

Fall in number of International Students

As the subsequent academic sessions begin, the problem caused by Covid-19 is coming to the surface. Travel issues, social distance, and poor economic conditions have led to a fall in UK universities’ enrolments. 

With social distancing prohibiting face-to-face teaching, many required courses are being conducted in the online mode. Some universities have even suspension of face-to-face classes for the entire year. 

International Students are very much reluctant to pay higher fees for the online classes arranged by the University. Some Universities have even taken steps to start face-to-face courses. Still, travel restrictions and fear of another outbreak of Covid-19 will limit the number of International Students willing to travel to the United Kingdom.

Financial Implications on Universities

Most of the universities rely on the fees received from International Students. In the last decade, revenue from international student fees has driven most of the universities.

In the last academic session alone, tuition fees and education contracts accounted for half of all university income. The figure came to a staggering almost 20 billion pounds. International Students accounted for 6.5 billion pounds that are nearly one-third of the total revenue generated by universities. 

A significant decline in the revenue generated from tuition fees will put some notable universities at risk. Many universities are dependent on the tuition fees from international students to carry out operations.

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Travel Restrictions on International Students coming to the UK

International Students have to ensure they are part of the amber list of countries whose citizens can enter the United Kingdom. There are things before and when International Students arrive in the United Kingdom to become part of the desired university program.

Things to do before travelling to the United Kingdom

  • Take a Covid-19 test before three days of traveling to the UK.
  • Book and Pay for Covid-19 tests – to be taken on arrival to the UK.
  • Complete a Passenger Locator form

Things to do on arrival in the UK

Scenario 1: In case the Student is fully vaccinated

  • The Student should be taking the Covid-19 test on or before day 2

Travel restriction applies if the Student is vaccinated under the UK Vaccination Program, the UK Vaccination program overseas, or an approved vaccination program in Europe or the US by the United Kingdom.

Scenario 2: If you are not fully vaccinated

  • The Student needs to get quarantined at a place for ten days.
  • Take a covid-19 test on or before day two and on or after day 8.

Latest Travel Guidance states to follow the rules described above till October 4th, 2021. But after October 4th, 2021, different restrictions will apply to students arriving from overseas. It will depend on the country they are coming from, whether they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and the type of vaccine they received.

Countries are broadly sorted under two categories:

  • Red list countries.
  • Rest of the World.

Students travelling from Red-List Countries

The UK has a travel ban imposed in place for arrivals from some countries. Quarantine is a must even if a student is fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and unvaccinated. The Student will bear the cost of quarantine, and the Student should book the package in advance before travelling.

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Students travelling from the Rest of the World

A student will be considered fully vaccinated for international travel if they can show they have completed an entire course of vaccination approved by the UK at least 14 days before arrival to the UK.

  • An entire course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen vaccines from member countries’ relevant public health bodies.
  • A formally approved Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada, and Australia and should have a certificate to support 
  • No need to take the Covid-19 test before departing the home country.
  • No need to take the Day 8 Covid-19 test and mandatory quarantine period.
  • I need to pay for the Day 2 Covid-19 test on arrival in the UK.
  • Complete the passenger locator form anytime within 48 hours of arrival in the UK.

Arriving on University Campus

The Student is provided with a checklist to use as a guide to support the students who are required to self-isolate. The students can click on the below-mentioned link and download the manual for future reference.

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