The coronavirus has wreaked havoc in international education.

But the darkest hour comes before the dawn so the saying goes. Global recovery will come.

What does that future look like? Will the international student market bounce back?

There are no certain answers to those questions, but we can make some educated guesses about international student recruitment in the coronavirus recovery phase:

1. Competition for international students will intensify

Many institutions that have welcomed significant numbers of international students in recent years are having a rough time right now. As soon as the market for international students reopens those institutions will want to secure new enrollments as quickly as possible. It’s a good bet that competition for international student enrollments will be more fierce than before the pandemic.

Competition will intensify further if the total number of international student enrollments – globally and/or in a given country – drops in the short to medium term.

2. International travel will be challenging

Governments around the world have been forced to inflict huge damage to their economies in order to save as many lives as possible. You can bet they will want to make sure that it was worth it.

Once domestic infections in a country are under control and the recovery phase has begun, a government is unlikely to take any chances with a second wave of infection from outside its borders. Borders will reopen but border health controls, checks, and quarantine periods will likely remain in place for a significant period.

Anyone who thinks we’ll snap straight back to relatively free and open international travel as it was before coronavirus is very optimistic indeed.

International travel will be possible but it may not be practical. At best, increased and enduring health controls will mean that it takes a lot longer to get from A to B. At worst, mandatory quarantine or isolation controls (that could apply when you arrive at your destination and when you arrive home) may mean that international travel is simply not feasible.

The role of education agents

In the pre-pandemic world, education agents were key players in the international education maket.

In the recovery phase, agents may be more important than ever.

In an environment where quickly re-establishing international student enrollments is critical, but international travel is difficult, agents may play a critical role as the conduit between prospective international student and educational institution.

Educational institutions that have solid education agent networks in place will be in the best position to restart international student enrollments in the recovery phase.

Prepare for the recovery phase

If your educational institution needs to build or strengthen its education agent network, AgentBee offers an education agent network building solution which requires $0 upfront investment.

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Cover image by Pille-Riin Priske on Unsplash