News / Asia

Australian Universities Cut Jobs As Foreign Student Enrollment Dips

Three of Australia's biggest universities are cutting hundreds of staff because of a fall in the number of foreign students.  The multi-billion dollar education industry has been one of Australia's most profitable export-earning sectors but the latest official figures suggest the overseas student boom may be at end because of financial constraints and changes to immigration rules.

The education industry here boasts that Australia is a “vibrant and friendly country” in which foreign students can “live, learn and grow.” Last year 240,000 enrolled on various tertiary courses, up from 180,000 in 2008.   Vast numbers came from China and India.

Glenn Withers, the head of Universities Australia, a lobby group, says the education industry is struggling. “For higher education it's plateaued. For total education in fact it's collapsed substantially, just for the last year fell almost 10 percent. That's mostly in the private colleges not the universities," he noted.

Many Australian universities rely on the tuition and fees from young foreigners but the softening of such a valuable market is forcing the University of Sydney to shed hundreds of jobs and other institutions are also cutting staff.

At Macquarie University in Sydney, about 50 workers are taking voluntary redundancy largely because of falling numbers of overseas students.

Many blame the high Australian dollar, making schools more expensive, and increased global competition from the United States and Britain for the dropping foreign enrollment.

Withers says Australia’s tougher immigration rules also played a role.

“We had a number of issues around student visas and migration where the government introduced new settings that made it really difficult for students to feel welcome and for those who wanted to stay on to be able to do so,” he said.

Withers says that the government is responding to these concerns and that immigration regulations will soon become less onerous on young foreigners.  

Starting next year, students will face less strict visa requirements. Those who come from so-called high risk countries, such as India and China, where students were thought more likely to overstay their visas, will not need to provide a cash deposit before being allowed into Australia.  

The reforms also allow international university students to work in Australia temporarily after finishing their courses.  The changes, however, will not apply to private educational intuitions.

There is also a concerted effort by some universities to make it easier for the Chinese to study in Australia.  The University of Sydney is considering easing its entry requirements to attract more students from China.

India is another valuable source of students, although Australia’s reputation there did suffer because of a series of attacks on young foreigners in recent years in Sydney and Melbourne.  Student groups say that although the violence took place about two years ago, it has continued to taint India’s view of Australia as a safe and productive country.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs