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Australian Government Takes Positive Steps to Clean up the Damage to its Education Export Market

A brief discussion on the damage
A few short years ago [2009] Australia had a very buoyant economy. International education was our third largest export industry, with over half a million international students studying in Australia.

International Education - Australia’s Perfect Storm
And then we had the Perfect Storm: the global financial crisis, Australian government made changes to skilled migration, the Australian dollar strengthened.
The outcome was devastating for many, with the fallout including: students defaulting on tuition fees, colleges both good and bad were affected, staff lost their jobs, colleges closed. The spider vein effect included: lower revenues for associated businesses, jobs previously filled by international students were now vacant, and even properties previously tenanted by international students were left untenanted for months [I know this firsthand – 3 of my rentals were previously always tenanted, and with the visa changes came no students and vacant properties]. Other more competitive countries were quick to increase their intake of international students. In 2009/10 the number of student visas granted by Australia dropped by 50,000, hence the devastating effect on many other areas of our economy.
International education is now our fourth largest export.
What is being done to correct the past?

Government Proactively Stimulates the International Market
We now have light at the end of the storm. I had told many of my CRICOS clients to bide their time and wait for the new government before they made any major changes. The new Minister for Immigration & Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison addressed the Migration Institute on 21 October 2013 and stated that ‘we remain committed to continuing to support its growth by facilitating the visa process for genuine international students’.

The Minister also stated that, ‘We particularly support measures to strengthen student bona fides checks, the use of modern risk based and streamlined processing of low risk visa applications and post study work arrangements. These are positive steps which are helping the industry bounce back from the damage done and helping restore Australia's attractiveness and competitiveness as a study destination’.

In Hope for Change
Hopefully these important steps by our government will help to reinstate Australia as a welcoming country for all international students, and the 2009 'perfect storm debacle' will be washed away as a thing of the past.
I look forward to seeing International Education again as Australia's third largest export.

For a copy of the Ministers speech, click here.


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