Experts say institutions should allow students to delay start date and relax entry requirements

Universities should focus on introducing more flexible admissions processes and strengthening their communications strategies to mitigate any potential damage from the coronavirus crisis, according to experts.

Vincenzo Raimo, chief relationship officer at global student housing provider Unilodgers and an expert on transnational education, said the universities that will “come out best are those that have traditionally been more flexible” around student enrolment.

“Lots of universities have a September and a January entry point, but the January enrolment is tiny for most institutions. Those universities that are used to managing a January entry…and have traditionally been a bit more flexible around start dates and ways of supporting students will fare better as this continues,” he said.

Mr Raimo added that universities should consider lowering English-language entry requirements and “think about how [they] can better support students with their English-language learning once they’re with us”.

“It’s not about lowering standards, which would be the accusation. It’s about taking good students who haven’t had the opportunity to meet those requirements and supporting them as best we can while they’re on their course to improve their study skills and English language,” he said.

Read more : Ellie Bothwell : Times higher Education : 18 March 2020