Conference concentrates on drop in international students in Australia

October 15, 2010

Australia's shaken image as an education destination for foreign students cannot simply be fixed with new marketing, a plenary speaker told delegates at last week's Australian International Education Conference. The number of international students in the country is on the decline, spurred in part by attacks on Indian students and by investigations into shady private colleges. Government figures show foreign-student enrolments dropped by 0.4% in the 12-month period starting August 2009, driven by steep drops in English-language classes. While colleges and universities are still experiencing a rise in enrolments by students from abroad, they predict the numbers will decline in 2012 in part because English-language schools often feed students into universities. Leading institutions have called on Australia to consider revising immigration regulations in order to get foreign students back. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)