The Ongoing International Student Crisis in Australian Universities and Colleges
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia has been experiencing a crisis in the great decline of international students studying in the country. This event has been causing a ripple effect in the economy as well, affecting colleges and universities, which the Australian economy largely relies on for its stability.
According to the report “Coronavirus and International Students”, published by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, there are approximately 210,000 fewer international students in Australia than would be expected, and that over 300,000 fewer international students will be in the country by July 2021. This means that based on the rate of decline experienced during the first six months of the pandemic, it is estimated that there will be about 50% decrease in international students within Australia by July 2021.
Currently, most classrooms are being held online, with many international students continuing studies from their own countries. This change in geographical location has had a great financial impact on many local communities and businesses who have relied on the consumption of their goods and services from international students. These students spend about 57% or A$2.1 billion in providing for daily needs.
It is estimated as well that Australian universities could lose $19 billion in the next 3 years, while the Australian economy loses about $40 billion by 2023, with the reduction in international student population.
According to an ABC news report, although the Australian government has taken measures in implementing pilot programs to bring international students back to the country, efforts have so far failed. First efforts at launching the program were delayed by the onset of the second pandemic wave, while re-launching has so far been unclear, due to internal border issues, as well as issues on where the funding will actually be coming from, as the country, like many others, has been experiencing great economic losses since the pandemic began.
Despite the gloomy figures, however, there still remains hope for the Australian economy’s rebound through the return of international students. It is not really a question of how, but when. The government is firmly set on focusing efforts this year in the pilot program, to help boost the economy by a large scale with the return of international students. Additionally, the decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country can act as an advantage over Australia’s other educational competitors who are currently experiencing high cases, such as the US and the UK. International students may opt for Australia as their ideal study location, with its lesser imposed health risks as compared to the other countries.
It may still be unclear at the moment as to where the Australian educational system is headed, since government pilot plans will necessarily rely on the current state of the pandemic and associated border control laws. But one thing is for sure: Australia is fighting hard for the return of its international students.
At Education Training and Employment Australia (ETEA), we provide you with the latest updates on the Australian educational system, because we care about the welfare of our students. We have implemented the best health and safety measures so that our local and international students can continue studying our courses and building their occupational dreams toward a bright future, even despite the global crisis. For more information about our course offerings, visit our website and contact us today.
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