The effect of COVID-19 on International Education in Canada

Author: Sorell Sonara | | Categories: Immigration Consultant , study visa

The effect of COVID-19 on International Education

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The COVID-19 pandemic is the major global health crisis of the century and the greatest health challenge ever faced since World War II. Since its emergence around December 2019, the virus has spread to every continent, except Antarctica, and globally, cases are rising daily. The United Nations has acknowledged we are facing a global health crisis since its 75-year history — one that is killing people, increasing human suffering thus, reversing global milestone achieved in health and developmental indices.

Although this pandemic has been recognized as a cause of not only a health crisis but also affecting other areas of human life and existence such as education, food security, etc. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is attacking the fabrics of the human societies at their core. It has disrupted travels and all institutions, and most importantly, the institutions of learning globally.

For the aviation and transportation sector, the World Health Organization has noted that transmission of infection may occur between passengers who sit together or persons who sit at immediacy to each other. Persons in the same section in an aircraft or lecture halls, for tertiary institutions, can get infected. This is because the mode of transmission is usually as a result of infected individuals coughing or sneezing or by touching each other and surfaces after coughing or sneezing.

Furthermore, in a few months of being recognized as a global pandemic, several persons have tested positive for coronavirus upon returning from either an infected place or going to crowded places. Although measures have been taken by various health agencies, the rate of transmission and confirmed cases globally seem to be on the rise.

As the effect of the pandemic grew wider, domestic and international flights in different countries were canceled and all means of travel banned. Tertiary education powerhouses were also closed down- sending all students home. This has caused an immediate switch to remote delivery of education in the various institution. Some institutions that have not been able to switch to remote leaning have either made their students lose a term, semester, and the chances of losing a complete academic year.

Educational tourism was brought to a still and institutions thriving on its deluge of students were brought to very low earning ebb. There are also fears of the pandemic increasing the gaps in education already existing between developed and developing nations. Embassies reduced visa applications the take significantly, dropping the chances of foreign students who had already secured admission and seeking resume to these countries. International admission applications were closed with many universities resorting to 100% online study, including examination, certification, and convocations.

According to the International Airport Review flight capacity in Asia-Pacific dropped dramatically in February 2020 and decreased by more than 15%. US and China saw a reduction of 86%. According to the Chinese Ministry of Transportation, 38.4 million passengers were served by the Chinese civil aviation industry over the 40-day Lunar New Year travel season in 2020, which marks a 47.5 percent decline from the same 40-day season in 2019. In February 2020, Australia's biggest airports have seen a decrease of about 17 percent in international passenger numbers compared to the previous period in 2019. In the US alone, stock prices of airlines dropped by over 30% between January 20 and March 7, 2020. The US government had to initiate measures to keep the aviation sector from collapsing by injecting intervention funds.

As the pandemic is been contained, businesses are resuming across several nations, and campuses are gradually coming alive; but under strict regulation. The governments of many countries are taking measures to control the pandemic such as issuing a stay at home order and the compulsory use of face masks. This is to ensure that already achieved success is not reversed. However, these milestones came with an added cost that many strive to stay above the breakeven line while offering their services. We must find ways to continue to travel in the safest possible way and as well keep academic institutions open. It is very practical to assume that without a COVID-19 vaccine or reliable medication; the pandemic may persist for a long while in many continents, thus increasing its negative effects on international travel and education globally.

However, colleges across Canada are still accepting applications for the Fall 2020 semester and if you feel ready to pursue the goals you have set, please contact us.

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