Wednesday, July 08, 2020

UK universities may charter flights to bring students from India, China & Africa

More UK universities could charter flights to bring in overseas students as competition heats up among higher education sectors keen to show that they will pull out all the stops to help international students amid the Covid-19 crisis, reports Simon Baker in The World University Rankings.

Discussions are believed to be ongoing between the UK sector and companies that may be able to arrange flights from countries such as China and India to ensure students are able to avoid potential complications caused by a lack of scheduled services due to the pandemic.

It comes after it emerged that Queen’s University Belfast would charter a flight from Beijing in September, and that the University of Bolton was making plans to fly in students from India, China and Africa.

Jamie Arrowsmith, Assistant Director of Policy at Universities UK International, said that it was supporting institutions by exploring the logistics and costs around chartering flights.

He added that the “preferred outcome” would still be for airlines “to realise that there is an opportunity and there will be demand”. However, presuming that international students are able to come to the UK in the autumn, “we want to make sure that we’re addressing any remaining barriers to students studying in the UK, including the availability of air travel”.

Flying a large charter aircraft from somewhere like Beijing is thought to cost about £900 per person if the flight is full, potentially less than a scheduled service.
08/07/20 TravelBiz Monitor

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