With pandemic-related international travel restrictions still in place in many countries and time zone differences making online classes unfeasible, the number of foreign student admissions in international schools in Bengaluru has dipped by nearly 50 percent.
According to spokespersons of top-ranked international schools in Bengaluru there is a considerable drop in the new enrollments of foreign students in 2021-22 with previously enrolled students also choosing not to return to India.
Nooraine Fazal, co-founder and managing trustee, Inventure Academy said that this academic year, the number of foreign student admissions are down by 50 percent. “It is mostly because foreign students find it challenging because of the travel restrictions. The admissions from within India have remained unaffected. We are still seeing a good number of enrollments among students who are migrating from other states to Bengaluru,” she said. The school receives applications from the US, UK, UAE and Singapore in good numbers. “We will receive applications from these countries but the numbers were just half,” she explained.
Some families have also opted to study in other countries so that children can attend in-person classes, Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, Canadian International School, Bengaluru, said. “Many families have been unable to reach India due to travel restrictions, and other expat families who were based in India last year, opted to leave after the first lockdown was lifted in June 2020. We have had many students partially withdraw, intending to return after one year. But just a handful of students have returned. Some families have been deeply impacted by the financial crisis of Covid-19 and have withdrawn due to budget constraints. Moreover CIS has a large proportion of Japanese and South Korean students. When travel bans were initially put in place, the eastern skies were virtually closed making it difficult for anyone to travel to India from those countries. We have seen many families leave Bengaluru this year to return to their home countries of the USA, UK, France, and other EU countries, because in- person education for their children is a priority. Parents are willing to split their families or risk career advancement, so their children can attend schools abroad which are offering in-person education,” she said.
Kavita Sinha, principal, Candor School said that foreign admissions make up to 10 percent of the total enrollments of the school. “Some students who travelled to their countries are continuing to take classes online. They have been given synchronous and asynchronous class options. We adjusted timings of our online classes to match the time zones in the South East Asian countries as a good number of students come from there. All activities have been taken to the online platform. Student-led conferences, sports events, assemblies are also continued online to promote cultural diversity. Admissions are unimpacted,” she said.News, States