COVID-19: Sannam S4 Education Team Sentiment Snapshot [Week 12, June, 1 – 5]

Key Highlights:

  • Student outlook during the current situation

  • Education Stakeholder outlook

  • Agent Outlook

  • Overall Sentiment of the Education Market

  • 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 June 1 – 5, 2020 and captures how the sentiments have evolved since past week. Majority of the survey results have come in after the announcement of Unlock 1.0 in India.

We surveyed 40 of our in-country representatives for various Universities across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Key Findings from our survey:

Education Team

  • Uncertain (38%)
  • Neutral (45%)
  • Positive (15%)
  • Negative (3%)

Student outlook

  • Uncertain (65%)
  • Neutral (18%)
  • Positive (14%)
  • Negative (3%)

Education Stakeholder Outlook

  • Uncertain (50%)
  • Neutral (28%)
  • Positive (15%)
  • Negative (7%)

Agent Outlook

  • Uncertain (57%)
  • Neutral (30%)
  • Positive (7%)
  • Negative (6%)

Overall Sentiment of the Education Market

  • Uncertain (60%)
  • Neutral (32%)
  • Positive (8%)

Uncertainty is still the prime sentiment; however, the negative outlook has reduced a bit from the past week.

  • The major focus of the education team this week has been Student Counselling (65%) along with Conversion (70%). Engaging Stakeholders (58%) is still an important focus area for the team along with Agent Training (33%) and Planning/Research (65%) on how to manage the current situation since the market dynamics are evolving rapidly. 
  • The Education Team indicated spending 40-60% of their time this week on Engaging Stakeholders and Planning/Research on how to manage the current situation, while the remaining time was spent on Student Counselling, Conversion, Agent Fairs and training.
  • Most of the agent events have now moved online. However, 25% of our team indicates that only a limited number of agents are organizing the majority of the online fairs. 89% of our education team have attended more than 5 online agent fairs and 11% of the team indicated attending 2-5 online agent fairs since the lockdown. 5% of the team attended more than 4 online agent fairs in the last week alone. 
  • 30% of the team have also organised more than 5 online interactions in the last week alone to engage all the stakeholders. 38% of our team also participated in panels last week, reaching out to Students (35%), parents (25%) and counsellors (28%), Schools (5%), Colleges (8%), Universities (3%) and Accommodation providers (3%)
  • Experience/ Learning from online Agent Fairs: 45% of the education team indicates that the online agent fairs are efficient and convenient. 20% of the team also suggests that the online fairs are less effective than 1-on-1 counselling while 40% of the team disagrees and indicated online fairs are more effective or as effective as 1-on-1 counselling. 18% of the team also indicated that the turnout to the online agent fairs is low. However, the students attending the fair are more focused (33%).
  • For reaching out to students for undergraduate programs, 38% of the education team is focussing on special agent events, 10% on career seminars by counsellors and 10% by career platform for schools. The team is also reaching out to students through university portals, school counsellors, digital campaigns and webinars.

Top Student Queries

Our team continues to notice an upsurge in deferral/ refund related queries/requests (88%) this week as well. University Preparedness for COVID-19 (65%) along with the impact of online classes on degree/post-study work (65%) are important concerns for students. A large number of students also raised extension requests (58%) in the last week as well. A significant number of students are also raising concerns around visas (65%). In order to address these challenges, institutions are providing quick/regular updates to the students and our agents suggest 45% of the institutions have also started offering online start for the upcoming intake, a substantial 13% increase from last week. In the past week, based on interactions with students, parents and all other stakeholders, our education team suggested New Zealand (35%), followed by Canada (30%) and Australia (15%) have done a good job of managing and communicating around the impact of COVID-19. This came in before New Zealand declared itself coronavirus-free and decided to lift all restrictions (The Guardian, 2020).

Stay Tuned and Be Safe!

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