Coronavirus crisis changes global university applications and student’s challenges | COVID Special

by birtanpublished on August 17, 2020

the university experience a time to broaden the mind and forge lifelong friendships at least it was the pandemic has emptied lecture halls close encounters replaced by physical

Distancing for students in hard-hit countries studying abroad can be an opportunity and a challenge higher education in the time of corona what next for generation

Lockdown millions of kids study abroad every year it's the best way of building a global network before graduating but applications are falling for the us canada and the uk

Germany is rising in popularity we'll find out why in a moment first the challenges foreign students are facing here german campuses would be teeming with life at this time of the year

But covet 19 has pushed back the start of the semester for several universities to november and that's hit foreign students hard i was supposed to go back in the last day of this month

But my fly got cancelled i resettle it already but i'm pretty sure it's going to get canceled again so my only option is to take a repatriation flight to come back a lot of students from abroad are stuck

Here far from home and their families i also have something to do back in my country and that is what coron is not allowing me to right now as my studies for example finishing my

Bachelor and getting time to the university start the free university of berlin is one of germany's most popular universities for foreign students

And yet there's hardly anyone on this campus today most of the students are staying at home afraid of what the coronavirus might do to their studies and their lives and a lot of them are worried about

Their finances while there are no tuition fees at public german universities living expenses amount to an average of 867 euros a month students spend around 330 euros on rent

But the cost is much higher in big cities that's why three out of four foreign students work part-time to support themselves

I applied to like a lot of number of companies but they are not even taking interviews right now so i just got like interview called for from two companies in like three months

So it's a pretty bad situation in terms of jobs i would say divyanshi says he still plans to stay in germany despite financial constraints i can do with the mini job or anything

Like that before that and do some other courses along with it so i mean it's not a rush but ultimately i will have to finance myself and you know get a full-time job to support myself but many businesses

Aren't hiring they're struggling to keep themselves afloat but that doesn't mean giving up but still networking and learning the language both key for a career here

It's still the same advice to foreign students the main ways of getting in contact with germans are through hobbies and jobs university sports are back on you can meet outside playing musical

Instruments is allowed there are lots of opportunities for isolated foreign students to come out of social isolation the best advice is to make the most of the time

Especially with fewer distractions right now going digital is proving to be a winner for universities that are trying to encourage students to enroll despite the difficulties of this crisis we spoke

To vice president of berlin's technical university angela's here's what she had to say we have a lot lots of international students some are with us here some are all the way all around the world trying

To um participate in in our online formats of course there has been a lot of insecurities about whether they can join us in the fall in the in in berlin or

Whether they have to stay at home some of them for some of them that's a great opportunity to stay at home and still participate in our study programs for others it's of course very

Disappointing to not be able to come to berlin and enjoy the the city life and and to meet other um students so it's it's it's been quite a challenge but we

Also have noted which has been really interesting that the number of applicants for the fall has risen by 30 percent we can't really say why they are such a great interest but

I would i would think that the way germany handled the pandemic really uh sort of it was a very positive uh process for at least that's how it was portrayed internationally and um a lot of students have told us that

You know instead of applying to uh universities in the us especially with the insecurities about the visa issues uh people prefer our students prefer to apply to german

Universities definitely and michelle hans joins us now from the german academic exchange service michael do you agree that foreign students are looking to germany due to its handling of this

Crisis i mean very much so i mean we have seen um a constant rise over the past decade you know from around about 189 000 to now more than 300 000 international students

At german universities we are now a number four country so i'm not um surprised that in this uh times of crisis in in the pandemic you know people are looking towards germany

Because there is this general tendency that the country has handled the crisis quite well so far i've also been told there's more interest in tech health science and engineering especially

Among women due to the pandemic can you tell us more about that yeah um as of now we don't have you know concrete data for that yet but i mean all the responses we get from our nation and from our network

From the colleagues um in our worldwide offices they say the same and there's a lot of interest in in health studies you know in actually um contribute to you know

Solving some of the pressing issues of our time and so from that point of view yes i see that there is a certain tendency towards the health sciences as well what about the other way around germans

Studying abroad i know they love to and a lot of them look to my home country australia for example where's this crisis put them well this is quite interesting because it does not seem to prevent you know

Interest in going abroad and i think we have seen an enormous rise of digital media of online teaching which is very very good and there's a lot of commitment of universities and and

Professors on that front but i mean it's it's very important still for young people to go abroad you know there's this personality aspect to it there's a growth factor and i think that people want to go

Abroad they want the feeling and um we we are seeing the tendency that people still want to go abroad and you know actually feel that and feel the cultural learning as well

Just briefly will the pandemic have a lasting impact on education and exchange programs i think so i mean quite possibly we will see that some of the digital forms will prevail and complement physical mobility

In the future um but as i said before there's a lot more to um to physical exchange than learning you know getting to know other cultures so i think yes um some of the digital progress that we have seen that will

Prevail but there will always be the need and necessity for physical exchange programs in the future and there's one aspect i would like to to emphasize the meaning and significance of international

Cooperation has been shown throughout the past through months i think it's very important still for researchers and for students alike to work together in international cooperation

Good point there michelle harms from the german academic exchange service thanks for being on the show thank you very much time to hand over to our science correspondent derek williams he's got

Answers to some of the questions you've been sending us on the coronavirus how different is sars cove 2 to other viruses that infect us for example do people who catch

Influenza sometimes have no symptoms yes although asymptomatic is a is a pretty squishy term we've known for decades that people who don't report flu symptoms can

Test positive as as carriers for the bug and and older estimates usually put the number of asymptomatic carriers for flu at around 50 percent um a much cited british study from 2014 however determined an even larger number of

People infected with influenza never develop symptoms 77 to be exact now if that's correct it means not even one in four people who catch the flu

Will ever show any signs of it one way or the other even if the estimates don't all agree there's plenty of evidence showing that it's quite common for us to catch a range of other viruses and

Show no signs of illness and and there's also broad agreement that those asymptomatic carriers are likely contributing significantly to to the spread of those

Diseases

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