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Australian Universities Voice Concerns Over International Student Caps by Federal Government

Jun 19, 2024

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In a recent and unexpected move, the Australian federal government announced plans to introduce caps on the number of International Students allowed in the country, causing significant concern among universities. This initiative was revealed just before the May budget and has the university administration worried about the potential repercussions on jobs, research funding, and Australia's international reputation.

University representatives argue that cutting student numbers will lead to job losses and reduced funding for research, impacting the sector’s ability to maintain its global standing. In 2022, Universities collected approximately AU$ 8.6 billion from International Students, accounting for over a quarter of their total revenue. Any reduction in International Student numbers could, therefore, have widespread economic impacts.

The impact of these caps could extend beyond universities to study in Australia to other sectors and the broader economy because International Students are not only crucial to universities but also significant contributors to private colleges, English language schools, and secondary schools. They are also vital for the Australian workforce. Additionally, international education is Australia’s fourth-largest export, valued at $48 billion, with $17 billion from course fees and $31 billion from spending in the broader economy in 2023.

The government’s focus on housing affordability is central to the proposed cap calculations, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers indicating that enrolments will be limited based on how much housing each university develops. However, the exact formula and its implications are still unclear, raising questions about how International Students impact housing costs. The bill is currently with the Senate’s education committee, which is expected to report by August 15, 2024. 

In conclusion, Australian universities are urging the government to carefully consider the impact of Caps on International Students. Hope this brings in a positive change and the government decides to reduce the cap. The earlier this decision comes the better it will be for student recruiters, and Australia aspirants waiting for their student visa for Australia. 

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