New Report: Coronavirus and Student Mobility to and From China

March 6, 2020

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Title: COVID-19 Effects on U.S. Higher Education Campuses: Academic Student Mobility to and From China

Authors: Mirka Matel, Ph.D.

Source: The Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has published findings from a recent survey of institutions on the impact of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on student mobility to and from China. A total of 234 colleges and universities responded, representing institutions which collectively enrolled nearly half of all Chinese international students during the 2018-19 academic year (47 percent).

The brief focuses on how institutions are disseminating information to their campus communities, working with Chinese students facing travel restrictions, adjusting study abroad programs, and adapting their outreach and recruitment efforts in China for the coming academic year.

Survey findings include:

  • 37 percent of institutions had students in China who have been unable to return to campus. All institutions who had students facing travel restrictions reported having been in contact with the student(s).
  • 94 percent of all respondents said they used a comprehensive support approach, which involved a variety of personnel in communication efforts with affected students including advisors, faculty, and other staff.
  • For institutions with students currently in China, 46 percent offered independent or remote course of study options and 41 percent offered leaves of absence for the semester/or deferrals. Overall, 9 percent of these institutions had issued refunds to students.
  • 76 percent of institutions reported outreach and recruitment efforts were affected, with 51 percent of respondents having cancelled recruitment events. Institutions often relied on Chinese partner institutions, extended application deadlines, and identified alternative enrollment options for students.
  • 48 percent of students who planned to study abroad in China during the Spring 2020 semester were instead placed into an alternative study abroad program.

To read the full report, please click here.

—Charles Sanchez

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