THE UK: CAUTIOUS
As a top-favoured study abroad destination in Europe (and globally), the UK has been the centre of attention since the beginning of the outbreak. One of the major challenges the region was addressing was their higher education’s reliance on the revenue generated by the international student tuition fees, especially on a single nationality, Chinese. On top of that, the UK was also criticised for its initial response to the pandemic being too relaxed. The UK higher education and student housing industries were preparing for the worst. However, recent reporting reveals that the impact on student mobility may not be as bad as anticipated, looking at the number of both domestic and international applications. There is a mixed interpretation on this more optimistic situation: some argue that even more drastic condition in the US and stricter restriction in Australia and New Zealand during the start of the academic year earlier this year may have worked in the UK’s favour. The other predicts that the government decision to impose international student tuition fees on EU students from academic year 2021/22 and to reintroduce post-study-work permits might have minimized students delaying their decision to study in the UK. The UK was also a country that showcased a high interest of domestic students in higher education and in general, stimulating city-to-city mobility. Hence, with limited options for the gap year and job prospects, domestic students’ applications might have remained strong. However, the market remains cautious until the expected start of the academic year between 21stand 28th September with a hybrid education delivery for the most universities due to the change of situation that the industry and students are facing and fundamental questions regarding the long-term funding of universities.