After two tough years, Australia is witnessing a surge in the number of international students returning to its universities. With the country opening its borders for overseas students, offering visa exemptions and visa fee refunds, the country is also seeing a strong demand for Australian student visas. This means that all those who want to travel to the country for higher studies should speed up their preparations.
- Nearly 7,000 international students reached Australia in the last week of January 2022
- The Scott Morrison government has announced the AU$11.2 million Maitri Scholarships Program for meritorious Indian students
- With a total 568,746 for the January-November 2021 period, Indian students had a 17% share with 99,523 students
This is reflected through the fact that there have been more than 50,000 overseas student visa submissions since late 2021. The increase in the visa grants to international students is due to the government allocating additional resources to processing the student visas.
Robust Figures Of Returning Students
The arrival of foreign students to Australian campuses is also indicative of a promising outlook for both the students and universities in Australia, with nearly 7,000 reaching the country in the last week of January 2022 itself. This is in addition to the 56,000 international students who have arrived since late November 2021, as per data from the Australian government.
The government’s decision last month regarding the refund in the visa fee for international students if they arrived between January 19, 2022 and March 19, 2022, is one of the key reasons for these robust figures.
Last week’s meeting between Marise Payne, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, and Dr S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, in Melbourne, was also fruitful in strengthening education ties between the two countries. The Scott Morrison government has announced the AU$11.2 million Maitri Scholarships Program that aims to support meritorious Indian students to study in Australia.
Australian Universities On Road To Recovery
With a total 568,746 for the January-November 2021 period, there was a decrease of 17% international students in Australia as compared to the same period in 2020. Indian students had a 17% share in this with 99,523.
Between January and November 2019, Indian students had a 15% share at 115,094 (out of 756,636) with a growth of 29% from the same period in 2018. This shows the impact of the pandemic on the second largest international student population in Australia.
The Australian government is also hopeful that the pace of the vaccine rollout will contribute to an influx of international students to the country in the first quarter of 2022.
It is also encouraging universities in Australia to invest more in online delivery models for international students.
This is after the university revenues dropped by AUS$1.8 billion in 2020 and another AUS$2 billion possible loss in 2021.
Some other initiatives by their government include a campaign to attract more international students by the country’s trade commission and a new partner hub website for Study Australia that will provide additional resources and updates for agents.