Australian education sector welcomes student visa changes

22 December 2010

Australian educational institutions are welcoming changes to student visas announced by the federal government on 19 December 2010.

The education sector in Australia has been reeling in response to a sudden collapse in demand from international students. The education sector in Australia is a multi-billion dollar industry and depends heavily on international students, especially from India and China.

Currently, university applicants from countries such as India and China need to provide proof that they or a close relative can provide enough money to support the student for three years. The new changes would reduce this requirement to two years.

In February of 2010, the Australian government tightened student visa requirements to prevent students gaining permanent residence through lower-skilled vocational student immigration routes. Unfortunately, the changes resulted in a significant drop in demand for Australian educational courses from international students.

Both the training and education sectors feel that the drop in demand is mainly due to the long application process and tough visa requirements that mean that applicants need to prove that they have approximately AUD $100,000 for tuition fees and living expenses. Students from English-speaking Countries usually require one-fourth of that amount.