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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More