24 August 2010

Universities look to increase Australian Student Visa numbers from Latin America

For the past six years Australian private vocational colleges and English-language schools have had rapid success in recruiting students from Latin America, and now universities are working to attract these students to undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Studying in Australia

Universities are now looking at recruiting Latin American students to Australia.

Since 2004, enrolment of Latin American students in Australia has risen from 7,000 to 34,000, an increase that academics and recruiters attribute that success to aggressive outreach programmes and reduced Australian Student Visa restrictions. 

Now, universities are focusing on attracting some of those students into their undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Australia’s first major student recruitment drive began in 2004, when the government body Australia Education International opened the first Latin American office in Santiago, Chile.

The Australian Trade Commission recently took over responsibility for recruiting international students.

Australian institutions rely on fairs, agents, and academic partnerships, particularly in postgraduate research, to increase the number of students from Latin America.

Australia faces significant competition for Latin American students from the United States, despite Australia offering pathway programs combining English-language courses and less expensive degrees.   There is a large Spanish-language community in the US and many Latin American students have family members already in the country, which makes it easier to transition to the US rather than to try to come to Australia.

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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