Australia gains popularity among international students as a top study destination
The numbers have spoken: Australia is now joining the likes of Canada and the United Kingdom as one of the most sought-after study destinations for international students.
As revealed by a recent survey of over 14,000 international students from 147 countries, one in five students have changed their minds over the past 12 months about where they want to pursue their studies abroad. Among those who changed their minds, one out of three named Australia as their new top study destination.
What’s behind the surge?
Australia’s growing popularity among international students is a much-welcomed change of tide for the country’s international education sector, which has been through a rough patch since the onslaught of COVID-19. Many international students were unable to study in Australia during the pandemic due to its closed borders and lockdown policies, but with the world’s official entrance into the post-pandemic era, combined with several improvements in the availability of opportunities for foreign students in Australia, more and more of them are seeing the country as a safe and attractive choice.
Here are five of the most popular reasons that have sparked Australia’s rise in popularity.
- Better visa-processing — Common delays in visa-processing used to be a significant pain point for students who were considering studying in Australia, the Australian Government is now supporting its Department of Home Affairs to address these as an urgent priority. Since May of 2022, the Depapartment has employed nearly 140 new staff in visa processing roles.
- Uncapped work hours — As a result of rising global inflation and cost of living, the ability to work while studying is a priority for a significant proportion of international students in 2022. Australia has removed the cap on the number of hours that international students can work until June of 2023; reflecting this, 36 percent of the students who switched their top countries to Australia cited better job opportunities as their reason. This improved work-study policy allows international students much better chances to earn enough money to live more comfortably during their stay abroad.
- Lower currency — Also aligned with the growing concern for cost of living, the Australian dollar is low against the US dollar and several other currencies, making it a more affordable choice for most students.
- Safety — Australia has been consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. The results of the survey echo this, with Australia deemed to be the safest country for international students, followed by New Zealand and Canada.
- Opportunities for permanent residency — GSP’s Director for Australia and New Zealand, Matt Beazley, notes that the opportunities that come with living in regional Australia are also a key factor in Australia’s attractiveness to foreign students. Arguably the most popular among these opportunities is the improved pathways to permanent residency, with some certain courses. It should be noted that regional Australia also includes major cities like Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra, and the Gold Coast.
This upsurge of interest in pursuing higher education in Australia is fantastic news for the country’s educators, whose challenge is now to rise to meet the growing demand for Australian education; and as the number of student applicants continues to soar, recruiters and institutions can expect the amount of paperwork to grow right along with it.
Handling the paperwork can easily become one of the most time-consuming parts of the recruitment and admissions processes, but it’s also one of the most critical steps in a successful application. Without being tremendously well-organised, it can be easy to make blunders when dealing with huge volumes of paperwork, but GSP’s all-in-one technology platform empowers our partners to manage all pre-screening applications, conversions, and local recruitment with ease. With the power of tech, we’ve recast the traditional international student recruitment model into one that is more collaborative, more transparent, more comprehensive, and more intimate — all in pursuit of our mission to transform lives through education.
Looking for a more sustainable way to manage student recruitment? Experience a whole new world of simpler, faster, and more enjoyable application processes with GSP. To learn more about recruitment and study applications, reach out to our recruitment and business development experts.