06 April 2011

Australian immigration sees fall in overseas student intake

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Australian immigration figures released this week will see enrolments in educational institutions by international student visa holders fall by 2.5% on figures released in February, 2010.

Australian visa

Enrolments in Australian educational institutions by student visa holders have fallen by 2.5% since 2010.

The greatest drop was in vocational courses such as cooking and hairdressing, which suffered a 21.5% fall in enrolment numbers.

Despite the drop, China - the country with the biggest number of international students – increased their share of Australia’s international student intake by 8.2%, and now accounts for 30.5% of the market. India retains its position behind China but falls sharply by 30.3% on last February, dropping to 12.3%.

Institutions are concerned that the rising dollar, combined with high living costs, could prolong the slump into 2012. Simon Marginson, at the Centre for the Study of High Education at Melbourne University said: "[Because of the cost of living and housing] you would find there would be places in Australia that are more expensive than the US”.

He went on to say that the federal government Australian visa changes last year were also a problem and would result in students looking elsewhere to study.

Meanwhile, Glenn Withers of Universities Australia said: “All indications suggest a significant downturn in student commencements for 2011 and for the immediate future.”

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their application for Australian immigration.

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