Pre-pandemic universities relied, really relied, on international coursework postgrads – and not just for their fees, they made a big contribution to campus life – by being on them. So will they come back when they can?
In 2019 coursework internationals accounted for 61 per cent of all PGs and as Frank Larkins points out, their preference for on-campus study means, “in terms of cost efficiency in the delivery of postgraduate course programmes overseas students have been a better investment for universities than domestic students.”
Universities will want them back, when they can come, With Ian Marshman, Professor Larkins estimates that their absence could cost universities up to $7bn.
But will coursework PGs from overseas as a class want to return. Insofar as the past can be a predictor of a very uncertain future they weren’t entirely unhappy in a hard 2020.
The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey for on-shore internationals in 2020 lock-down, released Thursday, found 63 per cent were satisfied with their overall education experience, with a 67 per cent positive rating for teaching. This is lower than for domestic PGs, but not much (68 per cent and 72 per cent).
The international figures are a bit better for business students, who are 40 per cent of the international PG population, 66 per cent on teaching and 69 per cent overall.