Overseas dreams in the lurch

Students keen on pursuing higher studies at foreign universities are putting their plans on hold in light of the pandemic 

Published: 16th June 2020 07:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2020 07:14 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Uncertainty on the commencement of classes, deferrals options and the worry of losing precious time...foreign university applicants in the city are a worried bunch. While some have halted their plans for the current year, many still await the final decision from universities with a looming sense of anxiety. For 32-year-old Imran Khan, a project manager, the current year was to see a possible move to the United Kingdom to pursue a masters in Global Management, which he has now dropped given that most colleges have resorted to carry their first term’s online.

“I’ve been planning to go for two years and I can’t waste another year. So, I decided to go ahead with study options in Canada, where the course duration is one year and six months unlike the UK, where courses are only for a year. This way, I can still continue working while the initial term is held online, and when I do move on campus, I’ll have a year in hand to network and gain exposure, which I will lose out on in the UK,” says Khan for whom the pandemic has limited his study options. 

Agrees 26-year-old, Karthik Ezhilvannan, an  apprentice leader at Mu Sigma who currently holds two offers to pursue a masters in business administration at universities in the USA – University of California, Los Angeles, USC Marshall School of Business. He asserts his current worry is that while colleges have made no changes to their calendar. “Given how the unlock phase has been in India, what if there’s a delay for another six months? That’s 25 per cent of my two-year course going online. The colleges are also not reducing the tuition fee for the classes held online. Tier-1 colleges won’t let you defer given that they have a strong waitlist and if you do get a defferal, they come with a new set of conditions which can also result in the loss of my scholarship next year,” says Ezhilvannan.

For Nandini R, an HR executive at a city-based management consulting firm, her plans of moving to Canada for a post-graduate diploma in Global Business at Centennial College faced an abrupt halt. She asserts that while her application was successfully submitted, the college has decided not to review applications due to the COVID outbreak. “I am looking at applying to universities in Canada for the January intake since my current plans have fallen flat. Other countries weren’t on my list since Canada has better future prospects for my area of study which differ from opportunities even in the UK,” says Nandini.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an education agent in the city with a leading international education consulting firm explained that the current situation is still uncertain as universities have asked students to wait till July for an update. “A lot of students are still holding onto their offers until the final announcement in July. The situation now is on hold and visa centres are yet to reopen. Things don’t look bleak for the current year since universities – UK, Canada  have asserted that the situation is improving, but it’s up to students whether they’d like to proceed,” she said.


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