Three-quarters of prospective international students fear their country of residence will join the UK red list before the start of term in a few weeks, with one in ten inclined to cancel, rather than postpone, study if rules require expensive hotel stays.
The finding comes from a new report by the higher education think tank QS Quacquarelli Symonds. According to the QS August Covid 19 report, 75% of prospective international students are worried travel restrictions could hamper their ability to study in the UK later this month.
The research surveyed 2,516 prospective international students on what they would do if their plans are thrown into chaos at short notice.
A third (33%) told pollsters they would delay travel plans if their country is on the red list until removed: 13% went further, reporting they would cancel their plans to study in the UK altogether.
Students in red list countries cannot travel to the UK unless they are British or Irish nationals or can prove residence rights. Red list countries currently include Thailand, Turkey, Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan and South Africa.
Students in red list countries can travel to the UK but must quarantine in a managed hotel at a cost of £2,285. Sixty-five per cent of those polled thought that students from red list countries should be able to self-isolate in university halls rather than hotels. They are also not eligible for the ‘test and release’ scheme.
Students in amber list countries – which include the majority of Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States – can self-isolate at university for 10 days if unvaccinated and apply for a test to release on their fifth day in the country. Fully vaccinated students from amber list countries do not need to self-isolate, only test negative on or before their second day in the country, much like those arriving from green list countries.
Forty-six per cent of those surveyed want the government to allow international HE students to self-isolate at university halls rather than hotels, and 53% cited the cost of isolating in a hotel as their biggest concern if their home country was added to the red list.
A previous QS survey found that 70% of international students felt that vaccinations should be a requirement before students travel to the country of their chosen institution. Another QS survey revealed they were less keen on the thought of having to provide official proof of their vaccinations: just 57% said they believed vaccine passports should be required before you can travel to the country of your chosen institution.