COVID-19: Sannam S4 Education Team Sentiment Snapshot  [Week 3, March 30- April 3]

Key Highlights:

  • Student outlook during the current situation

  • Education Stakeholder’s 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 March 30 to April 3, 2020 and captures how the sentiments have evolved since past 3 weeks. All the survey results have come in after the country-wide lockdown was declared on 24th March’2020.

We surveyed 58 of our in-country representatives for various Universities across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.

Key Findings from our survey:

Student Outlook:

  • Uncertain (43%)
  • Neutral (29%)
  • Negative (17%)
  • Positive (11%)

Education Stakeholder’s outlook

  • Neutral (39%)
  • Uncertain (31%)
  • Positive (21%)
  • Negative (9%)

Agent Outlook

  • Uncertain (39%)
  • Neutral (27%)
  • Positive (20%)
  • Negative (14%)

Overall Sentiment of the Education Market

  • Uncertain (59%)
  • Neutral (22%)
  • Negative (10%)
  • Positive (9%)

There is a lot 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 and WhatsApp continue to dominate as a preferred choice with 91% of the education team using both of them to Engage with Stakeholders. 78% are also using Phone Calls along with 38% of our education team using Skype. Also, Zoom is gaining popularity amongst the education team this week with 59% of them using it to engage stakeholders. Microsoft Teams, as identified last week continues to be an important medium this week as well with 19% of our Education Team using it to communicate and engage with the stakeholders
  • While the major focus of the education team has been conversion in the past couple of weeks, this week the focus was more on Engaging Stakeholders (62%). Conversions (60%), however is still an important focus area for the team along with more focus on Planning (55%) this week on how to manage the current situation since the market dynamics are evolving rapidly
  • Is the market ready to accommodate the current challenge? It is getting there, with 67% of the education team suggesting that more than 25% of the of the agent fairs are now online, indicating a positive shift of the market to address the current situation
  • What should we do? 88% suggests we should Go Digital along with spending time regularly on strategic planning (69%) to address the rapidly evolving market dynamics. Education team also suggests regular follow-up with students (55%) and working more closely with agents and prospects (34%)
  • Key Challenges: Uncertainty around intake/Visa (78%) and Student queries around impact of COVID-19 (78%) continue to be key challenges for the team to address along postponing and cancellation of Exams (60%) – IB, IELTS etc
  • Major country specific challenges for US, UK, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada and Australia are still around mobility, concerns around student safety and postponing and cancellation of Exams
  • What do our students want to know? University Preparedness for COVID-19 (71%) continues to be a top most concern for our students for 3 weeks in a row. This week we also see a lot more students (62%) asking deferral or refund related queries. Impact of delay in results (57%) and Visa related queries (57%) also continue to be major concerns of our students
  • Support from Institutions: Majority of the institutions (72%) are now providing quick/ regular updates to the students. Also, not all but quite a few institutions have moved classes online (70%), 66% providing continuous support on how to manage the ongoing situation along with 40% of the institutes providing access and support for digital tools

Top queries from students:

Support provided by Institutions:

Most of the student concerns are still around University Preparedness for COVID-19 (71%) and majority of the institutions (72%) are now providing quick/regular updates to students to address these concerns. This week, we also see a huge increase in number of deferral or refund related queries from students (62%), highlighting overall uncertainty surrounding the current situation. Impact of delay in results (57%) and Visa related queries (57%) also continue to be pressing concerns for our students. Majority of the institutes (66%) are supporting our education team on how to manage the ongoing situation and have given advisory and set up response teams (57%) to address student concerns in a timely manner.

Next week, we will again examine how these sentiments have evolved amidst the continuation of countrywide lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Next week, we also plan to present consolidated report on how these sentiments have evolved over the past month.

Stay Tuned and Be Safe!

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