16 February 2010

International students attracted to study in Australia for residency: survey

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A new survey has found almost a quarter of international students choose Australia as a study destination to become permanent residents.

Study in Australia

A survey has found a quarter of international students study in Australia in the hope of gaining Australian residency.

The online survey of more than 1600 international students from more than 10 Australian universities showed that 24 per cent are studying in Australia in order to gain permanent residency, up from 5 per cent when the question was asked in a similar student survey five years ago.

The survey results come at a time when the overseas higher education industry has increased concerns about the future of the sector due to Australian immigration rule changes.

Earlier this month, the Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans, announced a review of the Australian Skilled Migration system, including the almost guaranteed permanent residency available to foreign students studying a high demand occupation.

The new Australian immigration arrangements have been generally welcomed by universities. However, private colleges, the fastest growing sector of Australia's $17 billion-a-year overseas education industry have expressed grave concerns about the loss of students and income.

The international students surveyed rated Australia's quality of education as slightly poorer than that of America and Britain, but that Australia was a safer place to study than any other country, including America, Britian, Canada and New Zealand.

The belief that Australia was a safe country was the most common reason international students chose Australia, followed by the belief that it is a multicultural or tolerant society.

The survey was conducted in November and December by the marketing agency JWT Education.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.  

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