Key Highlights:

  • Student outlook during the current situation

  • Education Stakeholder outlook

  • Agent Outlook

  • Overall Sentiment of the Education Market

  • How do we Engage our Stakeholders?

  • Current Focus

  • Key Challenges

  • Top most Student queries

  • Support extended by Institutions

Published weekly, the COVID-19 education team sentiment snapshot highlights information drawn from a survey conducted every week in an effort to gather on-ground intelligence from our education team to assist all our stakeholders (students, Universities, Agents etc.) in preparing for the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 situation. This snapshot presents the insights from a survey conducted with our on-ground education team in India from April 13 to April 17, 2020 and captures how the sentiments have evolved since past week. Majority of the survey results have come in after the extension of the country-wide lockdown declared in India on 14th April’2020..

We surveyed 55 of our in-country representatives for various Universities across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States of America.

Key Findings from our survey:

Student Outlook:

  • Uncertain (41%)
  • Neutral (30%)
  • Positive (19%)
  • Negative (10%)

Education Stakeholder outlook

  • Neutral (36%)
  • Uncertain (33%)
  • Positive (26%)
  • Negative (5%)

Agent Outlook

  • Uncertain (34%)
  • Neutral (32%)
  • Positive (22%)
  • Negative (12%)

Overall Sentiment of the Education Market

  • Uncertain (40%)
  • Neutral (32%)
  • Positive (16%)
  • Negative (12%)

There is an increasing amount of uncertainty surrounding the current situation, which is also reflecting in the overall sentiment of the education market along with student and agent outlook.

  • Our entire education team continue to suggest use of multiple channels to drive deeper engagement with stakeholders.
  • Email (91%) and WhatsApp (86%) continue to dominate as a preferred choice for the education team to Engage with Stakeholders. 84% are also using Phone Calls along with 22% of our education team using Skype. Zoom continues to be popular amongst the education team this week as well with 76% of them using it to engage stakeholders, a slight dip of 2% from last week. Sannam S4 sent out an advisory to its staff on how to use Zoom more securely last week. Microsoft Teams, as identified in the previous weeks is still one of the popular choice for the team. However, this week only 18% of our Education team suggested using it, to communicate and engage with the stakeholders, an 18% decrease from last week.
  • The major focus of the education team this week has been Conversions and Student Counseling (60% each). Agent fairs (58%) are still an important focus area for the team along with focus on Planning (46%) on how to manage the current situation since the market dynamics are evolving rapidly.
  • Education Team indicated spending 40-60% of their time this week on Students Counseling, Engaging Stakeholders and Conversions, while the remaining time was spent on Planning, Agent Fair and Agent training.
  • Is the market ready to accommodate the current challenge? It is getting there, with 70% of the education team suggesting that more than 25% of the of the agent fairs are now online, indicating continuation of positive shift of the market to address the current situation.
  • 50% of our education team has attended 2-5 agent fairs online, 34% of the team indicated attending more than 6 online agent fairs while 16% suggested only attending 1 online agent fair since the lockdown.
  • Experience/ Learning from online Agent Fairs: 28% of the education team suggested online agent fairs to be cost effective, efficient and convenient for all stakeholders. 22% of the team also indicated that the students attending the fair are more focussed, suggesting that there may be a possibility of better conversion rate with online fairs. 16% of the team also indicated that only top 3-4 agents are organising majority of the online fairs while other agents are still not certain on how to proceed. 14% of the team also highlighted that the number of leads generated via online fairs are far less and online fairs are not as effective as 1-on-1 counselling.
  • 42% of the education team proposes improvement in pre-counselling of students to enhance the overall experience of online fairs. 24% team also suggests the online agent fairs should have group counselling slots along with individual dedicated time slot for each student.
  • Key Challenges: Uncertainty around intake/Visa (78%) and Student queries around impact of COVID-19 (60%) continue to be key challenges for the team to address along postponing and cancellation of Exams and results (51%).
  • What do our students want to know? University Preparedness for COVID-19 (76%) along with Visa related queries (76%) continue to be top most concerns for our students. This week we continue to notice increased number of student queries related deferral or refund (71%). Students are increasingly asking for Extension (61%) along with significant number of students being concerned with Impact of delay in results (64%)
  • Support from Institutions: Majority of the institutions (71%) are providing quick/ regular updates to the students. Also, 68% of the institutions are providing continuous support on how to manage the ongoing situation along with 63% of the institutes providing access and support for digital tools.
  • 75% of the education team feels prepared and confident to address concerns from students and parents. The majority of the team is also requesting more clarity on the plan and policies for the upcoming intake to be better prepared to handle queries from parents and students.

Top queries from students:

Support provided by Institutions:

Most of the student concerns are still around University Preparedness for COVID-19 (76%) and majority of the institutions (71%) are continuing to provide quick/regular updates to students to address these concerns. This week, we continue to notice an increasing trend in number of deferral or refund related queries from students (71%), highlighting overall uncertainty surrounding the current situation. Impact of delay in results (64%) is still a pressing concern for our students. Majority of the institutes (68%) are supporting our education team on how to manage the ongoing situation and have given advisory and set up response teams (42%) along with institutes increasingly providing access and support for digital tools (63%) to address student concerns in a timely manner.

Next week, we will again examine how these sentiments have evolved amidst the extension of countrywide lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Over the next couple of weeks, we will also examine how agent sentiments have evolved from our initial findings.

Stay tuned and be safe!

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