21 October, 2020

OPINION | Not US, UK Or Europe, Why Student Traffic Will Now Shift To Locations In East Asia

The massive blow suffered by the global middle class in the post-pandemic economic depression, will severely shrink the movement of students to western universities, says author Saikat Majumdar

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OPINION | Not US, UK Or Europe, Why Student Traffic Will Now Shift To Locations In East Asia

Is the dynamic of international education and student travel going to change significantly in the years to come? In fact, even before the world switched into crisis mode following the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been clear signs of shift that were about to disrupt dominant patterns of global higher education. For some, the signs were worrying; for others, it indicated good news.

An article with what now sounds like an ominous title, ‘International student mobility trends to watch in 2020’, published in U2B in January, right before the pandemic breakout, read some already-beginning shifts that indicated movement of international student focus away from traditionally attractive western destinations to locations in East Asia. A Trump-led US and a post-Brexit UK have come to shape rabid nationalist rhetoric and sharp anti-imm­igration policies that have started to discourage international students from targeting these countries as their destination for higher education in the way they did before.

Conservative governments in these countries have...



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