Oz visa crackdown driving away overseas, Indian students

Canberra, Oct 8 (ANI): Hit by a visa crackdown, more overseas students in Australia, including Indians, are now leaving the country than arriving, thereby lowering the total enrolments across the education sector for the first time.

According to The Australian, the 18 billion dollar education export sector fears the crackdown has been too heavy-handed.

By the end of August, the total international student enrolments were down 0.4 per cent from a year ago at 561,269, while commencements were down nearly 9 percent, a loss of 26,000 students.

Enrolments in higher education remained up 8.7 percent but commencement growth had slowed to just 2.6 per cent compared with 5.6 per cent at the end of July.

Indians make a large portion of the overseas students in the country, and therefore a a toughening of visa rules is expected to hit this section severely.

The worst-hit is reportedly the English language sector, where enrolments are down by almost 20,000 students, or more than 18 percent, sparking warnings that further college collapses and job losses are inevitable.

English Language Australia executive director, Sue Blundell, said the high Australian dollar was a key factor, but she also blamed the visa crackdown in lowering of enrolments.

Last week, English language college HHH International in Brisbane collapsed with debts of more than one million dollars, stranding more than 200 students. About 40 staff is expected to lose their jobs, the paper said. (ANI)

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