Session highlights

Our test takers show that while students might be delaying their plans they are certainly not cancelling them and studying completely on line is not something the majority of them are considering.  50 per cent are still planning to travel and 23 per cent say they are starting online and will travel when they can.” Shileen Costain, Director, Global Market Development, Pearson English Assessment, UK 

  • The pandemic is forging a stronger and more resilient generation of young people who are using the time to reflect on their study choices and favouring health and science courses in increasing numbers. Interest in health and science courses is now rivalling that for business and management, most sought after by international students, according to a Pearson survey of 6,000 students and their parents in the UK, US, Canada and China. Shileen Costain, Director, Global Market Development, Pearson English Assessment, UK 

Session summary

In 2020 the immediate impact of Covid 19 on international study and study abroad was very clearly felt and measurable. Over a year later, the effects of Covid-19 continue to have a significant impact on students seeking to study abroad.  While some shifts were already in motion, the global pandemic has given rise to accelerated change and has caused international students to pause, reflect on their choices and re-evaluate what they want out of their study abroad experience.

The continued uncertainty surrounding visa processes, border policy and other factors, has resulted in the international destinations of choice for students becoming more fluid than ever before.  Within this context, the trends of the PTE Academic test taker have similarly evolved, which provides an interesting opportunity to discuss the trends and changes we are seeing areas such as test taker destinations, information channels and study segments, all through the lens of English assessment.  

Many changes are being driven by circumstance, greater need for efficiency and service at greater speed. However, n all changes are being driven by prospective international students themselves, but by the sector collectively as it transforms business practices and finds a route out of the pandemic. 

In the interactive session, let’s have an open dialogue about what is happening in the world of the globally mobile student so we can discuss and better understand what is needed to support international students in continuing to achieve their goals 


  • Chair: Shileen Costain, Director, Global Market Development, Pearson English Assessment, UK
  • Chris Morley, Regional Development Manager, Pearson English Assessment, UK
  • Richard Simpson, Country Manager, Pearson English Assessment, UK