Entry requirements changed for students wanting to study in Australia

December 20th, 2010 - 5:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec. 20 (ANI): Australian universities have welcomed the federal government’s decision to lower entry requirements for overseas students applying to take courses in Australia.

The decision is in response to collapsing demand in the international education market.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans yesterday announced the changes for students applying to Australian universities, including from the multi-billion-dollar Indian and Chinese markets.

At present, university applicants from both countries must prove they or a close relative can provide three years’ worth of money to support their study in Australia. Under the changes, students would only require two years’ worth.

The change is designed to deal with a drop in applications across the 18 billion dollar international education business, following tougher immigration restrictions imposed to stop students with poor English using low-skill vocational courses as a fast track to permanent residence.

Since the system was tightened in February, private sector training colleges catering for the international market have collapsed. But universities dependent on foreign income also warn demand is drying up.

Central Queensland University, where international students account for almost half of total enrolments, is expecting a 25 per cent drop in commencing overseas students both next year and in 2012.

Earlier this week, Monash University, Australia’s largest international education provider, announced 350 redundancies in response to a 30 per cent drop in demand in its university preparation college, which relies on foreign students.

Both the training and university sectors say the fall-off is largely due to long application processing periods and strict visa restrictions that require potential students to prove they have about 100,000 dollars to meet tuition fees and living expenses.

In contrast, competing English-speaking countries generally require a quarter of that amount. (ANI)

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