Enrollment of international students could drop between 50 and 75% in some institutions, according to estimates from the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Covid-19-induced border closures and travel bans, along with local lockdown measures, have forced many higher education institutions to close campuses and switch to online teaching and examination methods.
Many international students have returned home. The university systems of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, which have invested in attracting a growing number of foreign students, are especially vulnerable to the crisis, with some institutions preparing for a possible drop in the enrollment of international students from between 50 and 75 percent.
In the longer term, the uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the pandemic and the possibility of further travel restrictions may lead to a lasting decline in the number of international students attending schools in person, and an associated decline in exports educational services.
In April 2020, the American Council on Education projected that international enrollment would drop by 25 percent.
However, new markets and export routes may emerge as a result of the health emergency.
Online distance learning is destined to accelerate, as a means of retaining students whose face-to-face attendance is limited and, through lower fees and more flexible arrangements, to attract new international students who were previously unable to afford education. foreign.
As students increasingly choose to move intra-regionally to study, for example within areas exhibiting similar infection levels, greater South-South, or even South-North, exports may be stimulated.