IN FOCUS: Has COVID-19 killed the appeal of studying overseas?

SINGAPORE: For many Singaporean students, pursuing an overseas university education sounds like a dream come true. A few years spent in a foreign country, making friends from all over the world, studying the subject of your choice in a prestigious institute. 

Each year, thousands of Singaporeans pursue this dream. Between 2017 and 2018, 7,020 students from Singapore studied in the UK, according to data collected across universities there. 

However, COVID-19 has undermined that dream.

Travel restrictions could mean getting to your preferred university may be challenging, if not impossible. Coming back to Singapore for vacations will probably involve a 15-day period of isolation. Classes may be conducted remotely. There are likely to be limits on social activities.  

With studying overseas much more expensive than attending a university in Singapore, some might consider whether the current circumstances make pursuing the dream worthwhile.

But not everyone is thinking like that.

Nancy Xu, 18, is determined that the pandemic will not stop her from pursuing her studies overseas. She hopes to study geography or urban planning at a UK university, as she has her eye on certain classes that are not available in Singaporean universities.

“I don’t think the pandemic is something that’s super concerning for me or my parents, they’re more focused on the prestige of the school. If I were to get into a good UK university, I wouldn’t think that the pandemic would deter them from sending me there, because they’re not especially worried about it,” Ms Xu told CNA. 

Adding that her parents are also not that concerned about the cost or that most classes may be held online on Zoom, she said that as some Singapore universities are also conducting virtual classes, “even with the higher fee, it wouldn’t really deter them from wanting me to go to a more prestigious university”.

Read more at Original Sources