While the world is gradually recovering from the devastation of Covid19, Universities and policy makers in the UK are racing to introduce new systems and processes to help the education system survive and most importantly, continue to retain and attract international students from Africa. African countries like Ghana and South Africa are also notable countries of origin for international students in the UK according to International Student Statistic in UK 2020. Nigeria alone remained among the top ten non-Eu countries sending international students to the UK between 2013 and 2017.
So, as an African looking to study in any UK’s top university post-Covid, you should consider the following issues;
- Ease of Admission: Now is the easiest time to get admitted into top Universities in the UK as most are struggling to meet up with income. Most have already relaxed admission requirements, so it should be relatively easy now to secure admission.
- Mode of Study: Lectures are now delivered online; this also applies to courses that were not originally designed to be offered online. From all indications, this is going to be the new norm with a significant proportion of courses being offered solely online. If your proposed course is offered online, it might not be possible for you to travel to the UK. Also consider how virtual learning will impact your study experience.
- Tuition: This is related to the first point. If your courses will not be delivered in person at the University, it is expected that this will impact positively on your tuition as virtual courses cost less. So, if funds have hitherto prevented you from acquiring that extra degree, there will surely be something within your budget post-Covid, even if it’s offered solely online.
- Quality of Program: Universities in the UK are in a race to adapt and normalize, this will not be immediate as they were not prepared for this rapid shift at this time, staff and student health and welfare including shortfall in income are immediate issues that will impact on the quality of service delivery at these Universities. As an incoming international student, you should consider how your proposed University and Program are adapting through the Covid situation.
- Student Placements & Internships, Exchange: Placements and exchange are critical learning parts for certain programs, however, post-Covid will see Universities in the UK scrap these programs in a bid to minimize the movement of students, leaving the programs affected.
- Travel: New policies are currently being introduced in the UK regarding international travel and immigration. You should constantly liaise with your proposed University to stay updated on travel policies and documents. This will save you a lot of headache.
- Post-Study Opportunities and Jobs: The UK Government made plans before Covid to reintroduce the two years post-study visa, and this is expected to come into effect mid-2021. That means that those still studying in the UK by that period will be eligible to apply. However, considering the current state of the economy, it is not clear whether job opportunities will be assessible to those staying back after their study. Recent figures suggest that the economy is struggling and will take a while to pick up. This should also be considered by you.