Covid-19 and its impact on international students

26. April 2021 StudiesScholars
Round table discussion at business and entrepreneurship symposium
A working group of the Round Table Higher Education Global has been looking into the consequences of the pandemic for international students.

Most of the approximately 20,000 degree programme students at universities and universities of applied sciences from the global South (incoming degree seeking students, winter semester 2019) finance their studies themselves – through remittances from their families in their countries of origin and through minimum income work. Corona has further exacerbated what was already a precarious situation before the pandemic:

  • Remittances no longer take place
  • The job is lost
  • Distance learning is a particular hurdle for students whose first language is not German
  • Social contacts, an important factor for successful integration, are massively restricted

The consequences:

  • Financial stress
  • Increased pressure to perform
  • Increased psychological stress and even existential threats

Because despite Corona all students from third countries have to provide proof of study success of 16 ECTS credits per year as well as proof of their ability to finance their stay in order to renew their residence permit: € 6,630 per year up to the age of 24 and € 12,005 per year from the age of 24.

The working group concludes that the international character of the Austrian higher education institutions, the attractiveness of Austria as a location for higher education and its positioning in the global knowledge society will be seriously impaired if the situation of international students (primarily those from the global South) cannot be substantially improved.

To the report (pdf, 253 KB)

To the website: Round Table Higher Education Global