One of the biggest news that hit the Australian education scene in the last two years are the changes made in the country's student migration program. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship said that these changes are necessary in order to meet the country's needs. However, while the DIAC is confident about the outcome of the changes, many groups are still concerned about the negative effects of these changes.
It should be noted that the DIAC has started revising the student migration program since last year. Here, one of the biggest changes that the department has instituted was the reorganization of the courses that are valid for a student visa. The new listing focused more on higher level courses, which the department says is what the country currently needs.
However, from the get go, many groups have pointed out that this will likely created a lot of negative effects on Australia's foreign student industry. Indeed, upon the commencement of the new rules for the student migration program, the number of foreign student enrollments in the universities and colleges have shown a significant drop. The Monash University, for instance, projects that it is likely that the number of its foreign students will drop by almost 10 percent for next year's term. The drop is said to be due to a lot of foreign students opting to either head back home or move to other countries.
Because of the sudden drop of foreign student enrollments, many schools now fear that their incomes will also go down. Thus, they have clamored for the government to act on the matter. For its part, the Australian government has recently released a plan aimed at helping not only schools but also the foreign students themselves.
One of the main thrusts of the strategy is to promote better interaction between international students and the communities that they are currently staying. This way, officials hope it will bolster the welfare and protection of students. On the other hand, the government also plans to set up an International Student Consultative Committee by the first half of next year. The said committee will oversee the consultation with the foreign student community on policies.
However, some experts say that, while the strategy is indeed promising, it is still not enough. They said that there are still a lot of issues, such as security, that needs to be dealt with in order to regain the thrust of many foreign students. But the government assured them that they are now handling these matters.