How did COVID-19 really impact international students' university plans in 2020?

Our latest infographic shows how COVID-19 influenced international students' decision making, and highlights which university destinations were affected. 

We recently surveyed over 850 of our students across 83 countries, to learn how COVID-19 has affected international students' university enrolment plans in 2020. 

 We found that the majority of BridgeU international students were determined to realise their higher education ambitions, with 67% reporting that they hadn't changed their plans. 

For those students who had changed their plans, 88% told us they still planned to attend university. In addition we found that: 

  • 48% of students told us they still planned to commence their studies in September 2020. 
  • 59% of students told us they planned to learn in person from the beginning of their studies, with a further 36% telling us of their intention to transition into online learning at the earliest opportunity. 
  • 42% of students changing their plans told of us their intention to study in a different country. 

The result?

The United States has been the most adversely affected among destinations. Specifically the USA experienced a 71% drop, with students who initially ranked the US as their top choice study destination now relegating it to a lower position in their destination preference list. Other traditional destinations have also seen steep declines, including the United Kingdom (-56%) and Canada (-58%).

When asked about the most important factors that caused them to change their minds, 60% of our students told us they were worried about the quality of their academic experience,

Students also cited concerns about international travel (58%) and the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 (54%) as ‘very important’ contributing factors.

We'll be publishing more insights into how COVID-19 is impacting the decisions of our 2021 students, so keep checking back with us for more information. 

To read more of our recent analysis, download your free report 'How Will COVID-19 Impact International Students' Enrolments in 2020 & 2021?'. 

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