The UK is definitely a choice destination for International students. The quality, respect, global recognition, industry-driven curriculum, internship option and seamless application process makes the UK a choice destination for most African and Asian countries.
The pandemic further bolstered the UK education resilience, agility and Innovation and won the heart of many students in the UK and outside the UK. Unlike some destination like Canada that were completely shutdown, tuition deposit lost, tenous visa waiting times and unpredictable visa outcome
The UK thanks to the UKVI bravely introduce the priority and super priority option, the Universities were also up and doing and the enrolment numbers tripled across all Universities across the UK.
With great enrolment comes great responsibilities. The weighing of the importance of enrolment to graduation, the student continuity on the programs, receiving tuition fees especially from countries with FX liquidity challenges and weighing of intention with motives for student exiting the tier 4 to tier 2 few months into their program. All this posed a serious challenge in the recruitment field.
Understandably, Universities with direct instruction from the UKVI sometimes or fear of loosing their license status/ranking are introducing stringent measures affecting bottom-line recruiting effort, slowly and surely weeding out the enrolment chances of students from Africa and Middle East with genuine intent to study and contribute their quota to the economy and talent pool of the country.
Here are the steps taken:
1) Credibility interview by the University-Decision base on motive and preparedness for UKVI interview.
2) Receiving bank statement and reviewing this before issuing CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) before applying for visa
3) Full tuition before enrolment – few Universities are implementing this
4) CAS exhausted and students are deferred to the next intake and we cannot increase our CAS quota.
5) Arbitrary closing of program Deadline when most Universities have closed and students left with no option than to defer or close their study abroad dream.
As much as these are policies driven by compliance team at respective Universities, these decision are not in tandem with the recruitment effort on the ground.
These policies are clearly doing the following:
1) Reducing enrolment numbers to the Universities implementing this
2) Multiple applications to different Universities resulting in waste of time and effort by the admissions staff
3) Genuine students exiting their study in UK dream
4) Loss of substantial money and hope
5) Enabling unethical avenue by students and stakeholders in UK education market
6) De marketing the University brand locally as it does not reflect local market intelligence
and many other unintended consequences.
The next article will look at the solution and what could be done to balance recruiting goal with enrolment metrics.