Australia: Universities Debate Over International Student Cap

Australia Oceania International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Jul 04, 2024


Higher education institutions in Australia have clashed over the international student cap proposed in May, which would allow the education minister to limit the number of new international students enrolled at Australian institutions.

The Ministry of Education introduced a legislation in May to enable caps on the number of international students in Australia at universities, TAFEs, and private colleges, reports.

Some universities in the country have not welcomed the news. As the Guardian reports, Regional Universities Network (Run), a network of seven universities mainly from regional Australia, said the cap should not apply to its institutions, adding that only 3.5 percent of international students attended a regional campus.

“International education is a national interest whose immense benefits ought to be more equitably distributed rather than continue to become increasingly concentrated to a limited number of providers,” Run said in its submission.

The Regional Universities Network members are Charles Sturt University (CSU), Central Queensland University, Southern Cross University, University of New England, University of Southern Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast, and Federal University.

Commenting on the proposal, Charles Sturt University (CSU) directly blamed universities in urban centers. It said that 50 percent of international students in 2022 studied in five of the Group of Eight (Go8) institutions, which include:

  • University of Melbourne
  • Australian National University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Adelaide
  • Monash University
  • UNSW Sydney

Unis That Want More Int’l Students Should Offer New Purpose-Built Student Housing

According to the bill introduced by the education minister, Jason Clare, universities which want to admit more international students should be able to provide additional purpose-built student accommodation for both international and domestic students.

The move came after the number of international students in the country hit a record 700,000 in February, up from 580,000 before pandemic.

Last December, the Australian government released its migration review, enforcing stricter rules, including the English-language requirements and plans on a new student test to stop people who enter Australia mainly from working instead of studying.

According to government data, the majority of international students in Australia between January and March 2024 hailed from China (148,121) and India (115,275), followed by Nepal (55,303 students in the country), the Philippines (over 34,000), and Vietnam (nearly 33,000).

As of July 1, 2024, international students in Australia should pay more when applying for student visas following the government’s decision to increase the fee from AU$710 to AU$1,600 to reduce immigration.

“The changes coming into force today will help restore integrity to our international education system, and create a migration system which is fairer, smaller and better able to deliver for Australia,” Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said.

Official figures show net migration increased 60 percent for the 12 months to September 2023, to a record 548,800 people.

Related News

A person holding a jar of money

The Australian government’s decision to implement an increase in visa fees for international students has sparked reactions among international students who are now reconsidering their studies in the country.


Jul 10, 2024

India Australia

Australia has, overnight, become one of the destinations with the highest fees for international student visas.


Jul 01, 2024

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne has expressed concern over Australia’s proposed cap on international student numbers, saying such a decision would harm the sector and Australia’s reputation among international students.


Jun 20, 2024