More than half of inbound international students vaccinated, survey suggests

Sixty-two per cent of respondents said they were confident they would be eligible for a vaccine passport if the UK government phased in such a requirement

More than half of international students destined to arrive on UK shores this autumn are fully vaccinated, a new poll suggests.

The figures were published in International Student Crossroads Research, compiled by IDP Connect.

The survey of more than 4,000 current and prospective students from 20 countries suggests 57% are already fully vaccinated – and a further 31% intend to get their final vaccine before travelling.

Incoming international students are not required to present a vaccine passport before arriving in the UK, however, 62% of respondents said they were confident they would be eligible for a vaccine passport if the UK government phased in such a requirement

Seventy-nine per cent of respondents expected to start their studies as planned. The Westminster government has instructed universities in England that Covid restrictions should not inhibit in-person teaching. With other countries, like Australia, in lockdown, the survey suggests that as many as 36% of respondents are likely to switch destinations if it means being able to gain face-to-face teaching earlier.

Vaccine hesitancy appears to have dissipated significantly since the previous IDP Connect survey in April, down from 30% to 10%.

The fact that students are so willing to get vaccinated and to quarantine on arrival shows their desire to get on to campus and commence their studies as safely as possible
– Vivienne Stern, director of Universities UK International

The Crossroads report concluded there was “a real desire to commence their studies on-campus this autumn” among international students surveyed. Eighty-nine per cent are willing to quarantine on arrival, 24% are willing to pay the entire cost of quarantining and 40% some portion of the cost. Twenty-eight per cent preferred a government-administered hotel – but 50% want university-run accommodation if required to self-isolate.

Three-quarters (75%) of those surveyed said that the government offer of a Covid-19 vaccine to all unvaccinated international students made the UK more attractive as a study destination.

Vivienne Stern, director of Universities UK International (UUKi), said: “The UK has remained a welcoming, safe and highly supportive destination for international students throughout the pandemic. The fact that students are so willing to get vaccinated and to quarantine on arrival shows their desire to get on to campus and commence their studies as safely as possible.”

Labour has called for the government to establish vaccination centres on university campuses after what it described as two days of “chaotic briefings” on student vaccine passports.


Read more: International students support vaccine requirements

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