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Should you accept a university offer in 2020?

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Cover all bases before accepting that university offer for September. Source: Abbas Momani/AFP

Students must decide whether or not to accept their offer from UK universities by June 18. All around the world, school-leavers are also wondering if it’s worth starting university in September 2020.

Though universities have been hit hard, governments are committed to saving them.

The UK government brought forward 2.6 billion pounds worth of tuition fee income and £100m of research funding. The US Congress pumped US$14 billion into higher education back in March. In Australia, state governments offer support schemes and a million-dollar fund for international students.

university offer

University life has gone largely virtual, including for assessments and graduation. Source: Agnes Bun/AFP

At the same time, studies show that most international students still want to go to university abroad this year. According to marketing firm IDP Connect, 69% of 6,900 students are proceeding with plans to study in the UK.

Are you one of the many still considering that university offer? If so, here are a few considerations to help you make up your mind.

Are international students welcome?

Every university is vying for international students like you in a post-COVID era — how do you make the best choice?

First, get a clear idea of travel restrictions and recommendations. Identify upcoming travel bubbles. If your first-choice country is not friendly towards international students at this time, consider other options.

Then, clarify how your chosen university will help international students get to campus — and stay safe there. Look for official support schemes and feedback from current students.

Will I be charged full tuition fees?

Yes — unless you have a scholarship, of course.

The UK government maintains that students pay full fees in the upcoming semesters. Fees can reach £9,250 a year, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Very few universities are offering tuition fee refunds on an individual basis. This is the case across the globe. Be prepared to pay in full before accepting a university offer.

university offer

You may start your degree online, but will gradually move on campus as COVID-19 restrictions ease up. Source: Drew Angerer Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

If I accept this university offer, must I pay for accommodation?

Staying on campus is an experience often reserved for first-year students, but if you start university this year, this may not be the case.

Though some universities will be reopening fully in September, others will hold classes without allowing students back in hostels.

Those unable to stay on campus should not be paying for accommodation — something affected university students are currently speaking out on after some were forced to pay in the UK.

Check the status of your university and arrange off-campus accommodation if needed.

Simply put, you should accept that university offer to preserve your higher education and career plans.  Just remember to factor in all financial considerations before committing to the decision. Do your research, speak to the university and their students, and consult your sponsors.

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