Chinese thumbs down on UK studies

BEIJING, 5 April 2021: More than 60% of Chinese students attending universities in the UK  rated their experience during the pandemic as “bad”, with 100% of those that are studying only online in the UK having a worse university experience compared to pre-Covid.

The findings are part of a study conducted by a specialist travel PR agency, China Travel Outbound (CTO), that has offices in Beijing, China, and Brighton (UK) to gauge the impact of the pandemic on Chinese students’ propensity to study in the UK.

Conducted with students at 12 universities across the UK, the research provides insight into current sentiments, reactions to current learning conditions and students’ feelings re future learning. The research set out to gain insight on the experience of virtual studying and how this is impacting learning and the university experience.

Out of the sample, 67% of the students interviewed were based in the UK, 23% in China and 10% in other overseas destinations. Of those participants that are currently studying, 39% are undergraduates, and 54% are post-graduates.

Results showed that a worrying 61% of students rated their experience of studying with a UK university throughout the pandemic as “bad” with 100% of those that are studying only online in the UK having a worse University experience compared to pre-Covid. Of those studying online, a particular dislike was a pre-recording of a lecture rather than a live online lecture.

When asked, ‘how does Covid-19 affect your plans to study abroad?’ 80% of participants replied that the pandemic had not affected their plans to travel abroad in the future. Most of those who are virtually learning in China will come and visit their UK University as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted. Those who do not want to travel will wait until they are vaccinated or look to postpone their studies.

China Travel Outbound’s research partner, Helen Bailey, said: “The research has shown that Chinese Students are waiting to resume their travel and university plans just as soon as they are able.  However, the research has also highlighted that there is more to be gained from understanding the online learning experience and how this can be enhanced to meet the needs of students.  This will offer more student choice in how and where to study in the future that can only be of benefit to the universities.

“Chinese students will continue to be the most important international market, and it is vital that universities get their key messages right, enhance online experiences and fully understand the needs of their Chinese students. Communication is key. This research is just the tip of the iceberg, and we recommend that universities conduct more in-depth research to really get to the heart of what their current and potential Chinese students need.”

For more information about China Travel Outbound, visit

China Travel Outbound is a specialist travel PR and Marketing agency with offices in Brighton and Beijing. Contact Helena Beard at [email protected]

(Source: News