Australia to Limit International Student Intake from 2025

Australia Oceania Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News May 20, 2024

International Students

Australia is planning to cap the number of international students studying in the country, hoping to relieve the housing market and curb levels of immigration.

The cap, included in the government’s recently released Draft International Education and Skills Strategic Framework, is expected to be implemented on January 1, 2025, or later, reports.

“The draft International Education and Skills Strategic Framework will lay the groundwork for an international education sector that is more sustainable and provides the highest quality education and student experience for all students,” Minister for Education Jason Clare said.

These measures are worrying for the Group of Eight (Go8), which represents Australia’s top eight universities. The universities said they are reliant on international students’ fees. Universities have warned the government of the damage that such changes could cause the education sector.

“The Group of Eight (Go8), which educates one in three international students who choose to study in Australia strongly supports an international education sector that is underpinned by quality and integrity – anything short of that is unacceptable,” Go8’s statement reads.

While unveiling the budget for the year ahead on May 14, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the number of international students at universities will be limited based on a formula, including the accommodation that will be built.

An ABC analysis of the Group of Eight financial statements revealed that after government grants, international students were the second most important source of income at these universities.

The research showed that during 2022, the university most reliant on international student income was the University of Sydney, accounting for up to 44 percent of the revenue.

Monash University was the second most reliant over the same period, generating about 35 percent of its revenue from international students.

Last year, the University of Queensland drew 72.5 percent of its student income from international students. Despite making up only 38.9 percent of the student population, the latter paid 2.6 times more in fees than domestic students.

International student enrollment in Australia has increased about 2.5 times since 2005. Official figures indicate the number of international students totaled 662,895 for the January-February 2024 period, a 22 percent increase from last year.

According to data from the Australian Department of Education, there were 975,229 international students in Australia in 2023, the majority from China and India. Of these, 437,485 enrolled at universities.

This February, international student enrollment surpassed 700,000 for the first time, bringing the total number of temporary entrants in Australia to 2.8 million.

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