Conducted via in-depth interviews with a panel of some 65 Chinese students at 12 universities across the UK, the research provides insight into current sentiments, reactions to current learning conditions and students’ feelings re: future learning. 

“The research has shown that Chinese Students are waiting to resume their travel”

Out of the sample, 67% of the students interviewed were based in the UK, 23% in China and 10% in other overseas destinations. Of those participants that are currently studying 39% are undergraduates and 54% are post-graduates. 

Key findings of the research were that 100% of those that are studying only online in the UK said they are having a worse university experience compared to pre-Covid.

“The research has shown that Chinese students are waiting to resume their travel and university plans just as soon as they are able,” said China Travel Outbound’s Research Partner, Helen Bailey.

“However the research has also highlighted that there is more to be gained from understanding the online learning experience and how this can be enhanced to meet the needs of students.  

“This will offer more student choice in how and where to study in the future that can only be of benefit to the universities.”

On a more positive note, when asked ‘how does Covid-19 affect your plans to study abroad?’ 80% of participants said that the pandemic has not affected their plans to travel abroad in the future. 

China Travel Outbound said that China has been prioritising students under their vaccination roll out, and “the prediction is that large numbers will be set to return to the UK come September this year”. 

“Chinese students will continue to be the most important international market and it is vital that universities get their key messages right, enhance online experiences and fully understand the needs of their Chinese students,” Bailey said.  

“Communication is key. This research is just the tip of the iceberg and we recommend that universities conduct more in-depth research to really get to the heart of what their current and potential Chinese students need.”

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