International Students Return to Australia, Numbers Lower Than Pre-Covid
international students

According to figures issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in October, a total of 28,690 international students arrived in Australia. This is an increase of 28,520 students from the same time the previous year.

ABS reports that the number of students that arrived in October 2022, however, was 43.6 percent fewer than the pre-COVID levels the previous month.

Catriona Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Universities Australia, commented on the findings and called the return of international students to Australia “excellent news,” but she added that more work needs to be done to get the same number of international students back as before the epidemic.

She claimed that Australia’s education industry, which was the third-largest export earner in the nation prior to the epidemic, produced around $41 billion in export revenue.

In higher education, there were 11,050 international students registered, followed by 8,370 in vocational education and training, 5,790 in autonomous ELICOS, 1,610 in postgraduate research, 860 in classrooms, and another 1,000 in other levels, according to the ABS data.

According to Australian government statistics, there were 569,204 foreign students studying there between January and September of this year, a 1 percent increase over the same period in 2021.

A recent report from the Australian Population Research Institute was criticized by an advocacy organization for favoring international students over native ones. The group has requested a review of the situation because it believes the report demonstrates an unfair distribution of training spots between domestic and overseas pupils.

However, Australian states continue to be eager to draw in more foreign students. The latest action was taken by the Western Australian government, which declared it would fund a new program to aid in promoting Western Australia as a study destination for foreign students. The new initiative known as the “International Education Familiarization Program” will get about $1 million.

Favoring International Students

Following the release of a report by the Australian Population Research Institute, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), an advocacy organization focused on the environment and quality of life in Australia, expressed concerns about university training in Australia and demanded a review of the matter.

According to a press release from the group, there is unfairness in the distribution of training spots between Australian and overseas students, according to a report titled “The Skills Crisis, University Culpability, and the Overseas Student Industry.”

The data marked that graduates, including overseas students and Australians, were offered roughly 40% of training positions in 2020, up from 38% in 2012.

In 2020, almost half of international students in Australia had finished their studies in the fields of management and commerce, according to a paper by Bob Birrell and Ernest Healy. There were more foreign students graduating in this field (70, 219) than domestic graduates (or 51,971).

IT, engineering, and nursing are some of the other important fields mentioned in the research where more overseas students are being awarded spots than local students.

Promoting Australia as a Study Destination

According to a press statement from the office of the Minister for International Education and Training, Hon. David Templeman, the government of Western Australia (WA), is funding a new program to aid in promoting the state to international students as a “preferred study destination.”

The “International Education Familiarization Program” is a new initiative that is expected to cost $1 million overall, according to a press release from the Ministry on December 7. Educational institutions in Western Australia are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in grant funding for each familiarization program.

The Education Trade Familiarizations and the Collaborative Familiarization Fund are the two forms of familiarization that the program will sponsor.

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