Responses from Ashley Fernandes, India head, emlyon business school and Chairman, XEBS

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By Education Today

Posted on April 10, 2022


5 min read

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Q: What Lies Ahead for Study Abroad Aspirants?

Given the current scenario, it is not surprising that international students are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the impact of higher education abroad. As of 2019, more than 8 lakh Indian students had enrolled in universities across the world. The global higher education is currently facing unprecedented challenges due to the crisis, which has led students to change their study plans, be it at undergraduate, postgraduate, or research level.

On average, the pandemic has impacted more than 50% of study abroad aspirants and there is no doubt that the movement of students has been tremendously affected. Many universities have decided to suspend all mass lectures for the upcoming academic year, limit the number of students for classroom learning, and introduce online classes.

There is no way we can forecast when the pandemic is going to end or when international students will be able to do away with its effects. This certainly makes it wise for students to continue with the application process and stick to their current plan of action. Many foreign universities have extended their application window for international students, giving them enough time to decide on whether studying abroad now is the most viable option for them or not. This way, students would not lose a year and attend classes online in the beginning and later be allowed to take classes on campus.

Q: As universities move online, is this the right time to study abroad?

Yes. If you’re looking to commence your study in 2021 or late-2021, then there are application and intake options available. If due to COVID-19, you’re unable to physically attend campus or travel to the country due to travel restrictions, many universities are working closely with their government to put in place study options for prospective and current international students.

For countries that have strict border closures, universities and training providers are offering prospective international students the option of starting their degrees online, with a transition to on-campus options as soon as borders are open or sanctioned travel arrangements are in place for an international student intake.

Q: To go or not to go: Covid-19 leaves students looking to study abroad in a quandary

Covid 19 has impacted the study abroad plans of aspirants drastically. 

Yet, over 91% of Indian students expressed a strong interest in studying abroad as soon as they could do so. The only questions that are left to ask are, when will the travel ban be lifted and which study destination should they consider knowing the current economic/political impact? From that perspective France has always been a welcoming destination for Indian Students (don’t forget that France was the first European country to open up for Indian students in 2020)

Q: Is ‘studying abroad’ still worth it?

With strict measures in place after the Covid-19 pandemic, universities abroad are enhancing other features and opportunities to make sure they are still attractive to Indian students and can offer them something more than the Indian education system is able to at the time. We at emlyon business school want to reiterate that we are with the student and the higher education community as it becomes demandingly necessary to ensure the current generation doesn’t suffer and comes out as individuals capable of taking such a pandemic in the future head-on.

Q: Please share some insights on the recently launched dual degree program and your new campus in Mumbai. 

The Indo-French dual degree program launched under the aegis of the XEBS Ahluwalia Centre of Excellence in Sports Management (XEBS CESM) is India’s first Indo-French dual degree master’s programme in sports industry management. It is also considered as a game changer in the field of sports industry management with an MBA degree from Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, and MSc degree from emlyon business school, France.

And regarding the new campus in Mumbai, we recently signed an MoU with St Xavier’s College, Mumbai to open an innovative Learning Lab (mini campus). Students from emlyon-Mumbai shall also have access to the whole range of facilities (classrooms, library, and laboratories) in the 12,000 sq metre campus. Initially it will admit 250 Indo-French students.

Q: How Will the New Coronavirus effect Plans to Study Abroad in 2021?

Although the situation doesn’t look that great right now, we want to encourage you to keep your options open and not give up on your education. You’ll just have to constantly adapt your plans for the next few months.

If you’ve decided to study abroad this year, it means you’ve already started your application process and if the situation stagnates (which is possible), universities will adapt to these changing conditions. The main drivers for quality institutions such as emlyon business school are agility, flexibility and quality. The learning goals are to offer you an incredible growth experience  in these dire times. 

While at the moment, there is a lot of different information circulating in the media, make sure you stay informed about the spread of COVID-19 from official sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), embassies, Campus France etc. It’s important you stay focused and separate the signals from the noise, in order to chart your own course and regain some sense of control over your future.