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.