Wednesday, September 8, 2010

International education issues: student enrolments

Speaking to a University of Melbourne seminar recently, Professor Simon Marginson argued that international student numbers could halve over the next four years unless the incoming government changes the immigration policy settings. Marginson claimed that there was ‘no acknowledgement that immigration policy is undermining the possibility of a sustainable market, even though the effects are blatant.’ He added that that immigration policy, including the ‘toughening of student visa processing’ was harming the international education industry’ (Campus Review 31st August p.1-2).

Concern about declining international student enrolments have prompted the Vice-chancellors of Australia's Group of eight universities to write to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, to seek assurances that whoever forms government will act swiftly to fix problems in the international education sector, particularly the decline in student enrolments which affect colleges and universities receiving students from pathway institutions and courses. The Melbourne Age (7th September)reported the Vice-chancellors have requested a removal of student visa entrants from the government's net immigration goals, reviewing policy settings for student visas and a combined approach by government departments and administrative agencies.


  1. It is definitely an issue of concern especially because it is affecting or will affect the country's economy in the long run. The government can definitely reconsider its stance. Reducing student numbers will have an adverse effect on many aspects of Australia

  2. I think that now parents and students are more critical.
    They want to be able to see education as an investment for the future. As for the post graduate studies, i think that most of them are also want to see the opportunities to be able to do some work while they are studying and also the opportunity to pursue further career in their country where they study.
    I think that with the globalization, the country that open their door for International students to come to study need to open their door to give them the opportunity to pursue their career too.

  3. One is curious that for such a successful industry the benefits had not been already obvious to the Australian public, politicians and media?

    Unfortunately, an orchestrated public campaign has been ongoing for some years conflating issues of population, immigration, social cohesion, environment etc.; and international education has been included yet chose to remain silent and not defend its record, why?

    Can take a generation to make a reputation (or market), and one electoral cycle to lose it for many years to come.....

  4. The education industry will experience some problems in the future due to the strong Australian Dollar and also the tough visa conditions that limit or discourage prospect students to study in Australia.

    Since this sector of the Australian Economy is one of the main sources of income for this country, the Government should take into account the current situation to ease a difficult situation that clearly will be faced by Education providers, agencies and many other businesses related to the international students market.