International student numbers hit by Australian immigration policies
Australia, 1st November: There has been a drastic decline in the number of international students applying for Australian student visas due to the policies of Australian immigration department.
This has been stated by Chris Evans, Australia’s Tertiary Education Minister.
Several changes in the SOL(Skilled Occupation List) of Australia, longer processing times for Australian visa applications, strong Australian dollar and increases in the fees by Australian universities have together played their role in affecting the number of applicants for Australian student visas.
The international students seem to be choosing other nations in favor of Australia for studying abroad.
Expressing concerns about the whole issue, Senator Evans said that Australia is, inadvertently, facing a severe downturn in the number of foreign student enrolments and such a situation is likely to stay on for the coming year also.
Senator Evans was speaking at the Canberra University on 27th October 2010.
Among the nations being chosen by foreign students for studying include the US, the UK and Canada.
And the declining foreign student enrolments in English courses are going to pose greater problem in the coming times, Mr. Evans admitted.
At present, around 27 percent of foreign student enrolments in Australia are from China and while the percentage of enrolments for university studies from China is far greater.
As per Beijing’s education sources, there has been a decrease of around 40 percent in the number of forward enrolments for a few institutes while there has been a decline of 10-20 percent throughout the industry.
The global economic slowdown, tough global competition, an appreciating Australian dollar and new tougher Australian student visa rules have worsened the problem of decline in foreign student enrolments in Australia, asserted Mr. Evans.
He stressed on the need of upholding the integrity of Australian immigration program while reiterating his commitment for working with foreign education providers for knowing the ways to make education opportunities in Australia highly competitive with those offered by other nations.
The issue of falling international student enrolments in Australia is likely to be discussed with university administrators by Senator Evans during his visit to Beijing this week.