Overseas students avoid Australia

Nieuws | de redactie
28 juli 2011 | Australia adapts restrictive international student policy. Leaked numbers from the Immigration Department indicate a decline of 80% in new visas issued to overseas students. UK, meanwhile, focuses on cherry picking talent.

Australian universities fear a massive decline in income asoverseas students shy away from stricter visa rules. Two years ago,20.000 new international students were allowed to enter thecountry. Now, this number has declined to merely 4.000 according tonumbers leaked from the Immigration Department.

Under new visa regulations, overseas students become subject tostricter language requirements favoring foreigners from Englishspeaking countries such as the UK, Canada, and the United States.In addition to that, students get prioritized according to theirfield of study. Studying engineering and ICT becomes moreattractive as expertise in these areas is part of the skillsshortage list.

A report published by the Monash University commented on thisdevelopment stating that “this tougher access to a points-testedpermanent residence visa will add a further disincentive for studyin Australia. As a consequence it is unlikely that there will beany medium-term spike in net annual migration from overseasstudents.”

Economic and Reputational Factors

Deloitte, a prominent auditing and consultancy firm, recently estimated that international studentscontributed $16,5 billion to the Australian economy in 2009. Intheir assessment it is stated that both the expensive AustralianDollar and reputational factors will result in a decline inoverseas enrolment for the first time since 2002.

Two years ago, Australia got into the spotlight of internationalmedia due to racially motivated violence and robberies againstIndian students. Deloitte states that this damaged the country’sreputation as a place welcoming to foreigners. Nevertheless, it isexpected that interest in studying in Australia will rebound unlessthe government implements further restrictive visa and work permitregulations.

Projection Australian Overseas Students

Source: Deloitte AccessEconomics

UK opts for Elite

Australia’s strict visa requirements are by no meansexceptional. Especially English speaking countries adapt similarpolicies as a recent OECD report revealed. The UK follows suittrying to cherry pick talented students and block out the rest. Forthis purpose a new visa category was introduced for highly skilledstudents from science, engineering, arts and humanities.

A national expert panel will analyze applicants and choose 1.000students from India and other non-European countries that showextraordinary talent. Under the new rules this educational elitewould be allowed to study in the UK for a little more than 3 years.Afterwards, they had the chance to extend their stay for 2additional years and then permanently settle.

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