International students feel safer than four years ago, but are unhappy with Australian Student Visa processes.
11 January 2011
Australian Student Visa holders feel safer and happier, survey finds
The family of a South Australian man who was murdered faces the prospect of having to return to Thailand after the Australian Immigration department has refused his Thai wife an Australian Visa.
The survey, commissioned by the federal government and conducted between late 2009 and mid-2010, showed 86 per cent of international university students were satisfied with their safety.
In 2006, a similar survey found only 75 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their security.
On the downside, students were less satisfied with the cost of living and accommodation and work opportunities, as well as their social lives and with the Australian Student Visa processes compared with students studying in other countries.
The recent survey included students enrolled in TAFE and English-language courses, but the largest group of respondents - more than 36,000 - were university students.
The survey findings are welcome news for the international education industry, which is experiencing a significant decline in enrolments.
Overall, 86 per cent of international students said they were satisfied with their living experience, and 84 per cent were satisfied with their study experience.
Levels of satisfaction with teachers and course content were high and significantly higher than those reported in the 2006 survey, and students were also very pleased with the support they received on arrival.
International education is Australia's most lucrative services sector, and was worth more than $18 billion in 2009.