Enrollment of International Students Drops in Australia

In many countries, the number of international students studying abroad continues to increase each year. For Australia, however, the opposite is true. In fact, the number of Indian students alone has dropped from 65,503 last year to 29,721 this year – that is more than half!

With student security issues, legislative changes, and the financial crisis, the number of accepted students has dropped dramatically this year and many are predicting this will continue.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, this comes as no surprise with federal changes reducing the number of professions that lead to permanent residency. Furthermore, the government has also closed 15 private colleges that were high magnet schools for international students.

There has also been quite a stir among the international students. In fact, the number of Indian students wanting to study in Australia dropped almost 50%. This has been caused by the most recent publicized attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney. This in effect, resulted in a travel advisory issued by the Indian government.

According to the Australia’s Tourism Forecasting Committee, international students are worth $13 billion to the Australian economy each year. Of this total, Indian students compose of 19% of the international student enrollment – with the drop in international students the cost is expected to amount to $70 million.

Because of this, there is growing alarm of the expected impact to both international education and the economy. Carla Drakeford, president of the National Union of Students expresses that the “international student decline is dangerous for the university sector – not only because it creates a hole in university funding, but also because of the innate value international students bring to our community and higher education sector.”


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