03 November 2010

China says Australian Visa barriers are steering Chinese students away

Australian immigration restrictions on foreign students and the population debate are steering Chinese students away, education agents in Beijing have said.

Australian Visa

There are fears that Australian Student Visa numbers will drop as Chinese students look to other countries for further education.

China is by far Australia’s largest market for education, valued at $18.6 billion, but international student numbers are expected to fall next year, the first time since the decade-long boom in overseas education provision began. Some 27 per cent of all foreign students in Australia are Chinese.

Two universities - Monash and Macquarie – have admitted that overseas student numbers could fall by 10 per cent or more.
Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans is currently in Beijing with four senior university administrators to try and see what could be done to stop the decline.

Lead indicators, such as the level of enrolment in English language schools, have indicated that there will be a serious drop in Australian Student Visa numbers.

Australia’s appreciating dollar, higher fees, a very competitive market place with a very aggressive marketing campaign from the United States, alongside tougher graduate immigration rules and slow Australian Visa processing times have been attributed to the decline.

Education agents in Beijing have also said Australian universities had been greedy in putting their fees up every year, which has priced themselves out of the market particularly as they face increasing competition from US universities.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa application with the Australian High Commission

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