State of EA Survey Confirms Pandemic Hit EA Community Hard

February 08, 2022

Via Blogs

82% of Survey Respondents Report Budget Cuts Since March 2020

In previous annual market reports, Via TRM shared data from our Traveler Relationship Management software about mobility trends. But with only 21% of institutions surveyed able to send students abroad between March 2020 – October 2021, we knew there would be little to report. As international educators, we still wanted to add something of value to the EA community—particularly in this time of COVID-19.

The latest edition of Via’s market report on the state of education abroad in 2021.

To this end, we developed the 2021 State of Education Abroad Survey, which we launched on October 4, 2021. While the survey was our idea, it couldn’t have happened without the input of EA professionals across the country who participated in our focus groups, helping to craft questions so we could best gather insights into how the pandemic had impacted EA at U.S. higher education institutions.

From study abroad budgets to staffing and mobility plans to institutional support, the survey covered a range of topics. We asked questions such as:

  • Have you had a reduction in staff/team members since 2020?
  • How were any budget and/or staffing change decisions made?
  • How would you categorize your institution’s 2022 mobility plans?
  • How would you describe the state of your institutional partnerships abroad?

We’re grateful to those who took the time to complete the survey—and we’re pleased to share the results in this year’s market report. We invite you to the upcoming webinar on February 23rd to learn about our findings and receive a copy of the full report before it’s released publicly.

Survey Highlights

In conversations with our EA colleagues prior to developing the survey, we knew many felt like they were isolated—that their institution was making decisions about travel without their office’s involvement. They talked of budget and staff cuts and how more was being heaped on their plates since the pandemic shut down international travel in March 2020.

One silver lining to the EA survey results: Confirmation that you were not and are not alone.

In fact, the survey reveals that since March 2020:

  • 82% of respondents have experienced budget cuts
  • 55% of respondents experienced a reduction in their office staff
  • 86% of respondents said they were tasked with new responsibilities

The survey results also show that, since 2020, proactive advising strategies and virtual study abroad information sessions were the most popular engagement tactics.

Looking Ahead

Here’s a bright spot as we look to the year ahead: 63% of survey respondents have had all 2022 travel approved by their institutions. Congratulations! We hope to see that number continue to climb.

Bob Specking, Account Executive at Via, and project lead on the 2021 market report.

We hope the survey insights help you to advocate for what you need at your institution—or, at the very least, show you that you are, indeed, not alone.

Here’s to a brighter 2022—and to a return, next year, to a Via market report with robust data from our Traveler Relationship Management software. Again, thank you to all of you who took the time to complete our EA survey. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns after reviewing. We’d love to hear from you!

Let’s Connect

Via TRM partners with colleges, universities, and study abroad program providers that believe what we believe: Global experiences will change the world. Via TRM strives to empower every international educator to engage #everystudent in education abroad, from consideration to exploration to participation. If you want to learn more about how Via can help you and your EA office, please email Bob Specking at bob@via-trm.com.

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