Whoever said ‘it’s better to travel hopefully than to arrive’ definitely wasn’t an international student. All that students (and universities) want, is to be on course, on time.
At Enroly, we’re all about making that happen, and mitigating the disruption when it doesn't.
Our platform not only supercharges CAS issuance, resulting in students getting their CAS and visa faster, but also systematically gathers visa and arrival information from students, helping institutions plan much more effectively.
We’ve run some visa and arrival data on our Insights platform to get a feel for the real-time situation in the UK this September intake. The data’s based on tens of thousands of self-reported visa outcomes and arrival updates from students coming to study from all over the world.
First things first, are visas being issued quickly enough?
Current visa data indicates that visa issuance has begun to outstrip CAS issuance. When we last provided an update on these numbers three weeks ago, CAS issuance was still pulling ahead of visa numbers and showing no signs of slowing.
But visa numbers on the platform have increased 80.30% in the intervening period. Large volumes of CAS have continued to be issued too, but have increased by a comparatively modest 18% since our last report.
Although the numbers indicate things are moving in the right direction for universities planning for arrival, there continues to be huge numbers of visas yet to be issued, with just 40% of students who have a CAS for this intake having reported they’d received their visa as of last week.
Enroly Insights users will be keeping a close eye on these figures in the days and weeks to come, as this information offers a crucial sign ahead of the reported arrival dates that follow.
So, what is the arrival picture?
Beyond the visa issuance figures, the data also helps build up an early picture of arrival to UK universities using arrival information gathered on the Enroly platform.
Out of 12,722 students with visas who have declared their arrival plans on the Enroly platform so far:
- 84.7% students are reporting arriving before the course start date
- 2.4% on the course start date
- 12.9% report they will be arriving after their course start date
Of course, late arrivals are nothing new, with UK universities generally offering a 2-3 week grace period for international latecomers before they start withdrawing CAS.
In this context, late arrival rates of 12.9% may appear favourable, especially given reports throughout the summer of significant visa delays. The table below shows a real-time snapshot of the cohort’s week-by-week arrival plans in relation to their start date.
But we’d fully expect these percentages to change and paint a picture of increasing late arrivals as the days pass and start dates loom, especially in the current context of 60% of CAS holders still yet to report receiving a visa.
Our data team will be preparing a full, year-on-year arrival report in early October, so watch this space for updates.
Of course, these comparative insights will be firmly in the context of the UKVI decision not to extend COVID-19 concessions allowing the continuance of remote learning after 30 June 2022, meaning that late arrivals at even a fraction of 2021 rates could still represent significant disruption to the international student experience.
On the international stage, it’s worth noting that Canada has responded quickly to late-minute visa delays by announcing extensions to remote learning.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation and will share further insights with you soon.
Want to find out how CAS Shield can transform international workflows at your university? Join a free webinar and demo on Wednesday 7 December for a system demo and overview of the Data & Insights features.