COVID-19: Sannam S4 Education Team Sentiment Snapshot  [Week 2, March 23 – 27]

Key Highlights:

  • Students outlook during the current situation

  • Education Stakeholder’s outlook

  • Agent’s 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 March 20 to March 27, 2020 and captures how the sentiments have evolved since the last week. 60% of the survey results have come in after the country-wide lockdown was declared on 24th March’2020. Survey next week will offer a much clearer picture on the impact of the lockdown.

We surveyed 55 of our in-country representatives for various Universities across Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and United States of America. We did not have any representation from New Zealand this week. We also had much better representation from the US and Canada in this week’s survey. We aim to add more representation and a larger sample size for our future surveys.

Key Findings from our survey:

Student Outlook:

  • Neutral (60%)
  • Negative (27%)
  • Positive (13%)

Education Stakeholder’s outlook

  • Neutral (53%)
  • Positive (31%)
  • Negative (16%)

Agent Outlook

  • Neutral (51%)
  • Negative (30%)
  • Positive (19%)

Overall Sentiment of the Education Market

  • Neutral (45%)
  • Negative (41%)
  • Positive (14%)

There is a bit of a disconnect between Education Stakeholder’s Outlook Vs. the Overall Sentiment of the Education Market. This could be either due to delay in capturing the real market sentiments from the education stakeholders or the education stakeholders are maintaining a positive outlook amidst the uncertain times. 

  • Our entire education team suggests the use of multiple channels to drive deeper engagement with stakeholders.
  • 90% of our Education team prefers Email and WhatsApp to Engage with Stakeholders. 83% are also using Phone Calls along with 42% of our education team using Skype. Also, Microsoft Teams is emerging as an important medium with 19% of our Education Team using it to communicate and engage with the stakeholders. 
  • 67% of our Education team focus is now on Conversions, a huge jump of 32% from last week45% of our education team is also investing time with Engaging Stakeholders and 31% on Agent Training
  • Is the market ready to accommodate the current challenge? Not Yet, but we seem to move in a positive direction with a 32% increase in the number of online agent fairs, from last week.  56% of our education team indicates only 25% agent events are currently online.
  • What should we do? 77% suggests we should Go Digital, work more closely with agents and prospects (34%)
  • What do our students want to know? University Preparedness for COVID-19 (65%) is still the topmost concern for our students, followed by the impact of delay in results (53%), Visa related queries (51%) and Extension Requests (49%).
  • Support from Institutions: The majority of the institutions have now moved classes online (78%), 67% of the institutes have provided access and support for digital tools with 62% providing continuous support on how to manage the ongoing situation.

Key Challenges:

  • Uncertainty around intake/Visa (74%), Student queries around COVID-19 (70%) and postponing and cancellation of Exams – IB, IELTS, etc. (64%).
  • Major country-specific challenges for US, UK, Canada, and Australia: mobility, concerns around student safety and postponing and cancellation of Exams.

Top queries from students:

Most of the student concerns are around University Preparedness for COVID-19 (65%) and impact of delay in results (53%). Visa Related Queries (51%) and Extension Requests (49%) are also pressing concerns for students. Since, University Preparedness for COVID-19 and impact of delay in results are still the top most concerns from the student when compared to last week, indicates there is a communication gap between the institutes and the students. Therefore, institutes must ensure quick feedback from all stakeholders to identify the reason for this gap and take corrective actions.

Support provided by Institutions:

Last week indicated institutes focus mostly on developing a contingency plan for connecting with stakeholders remotely. However, the current week was a Week of Action. Most of the institutions (78%) have now moved classes online and majority of them (67%) also providing access and support for Digital tools to our education team. Institutions are also providing continuous support on how to manage the ongoing situation (62%). Also, there is 15% increase from last week in creation of WhatsApp Group to address student queries.

Next week, we will again examine how these sentiments have changed amidst the countrywide lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We also plan to capture our agent sentiments over the next couple of weeks and will share our initial findings. 

Stay Tuned and Be Safe!

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