“Another nail in the coffin”: Australian student visa hike slammed

 In News

The visa fee for international student visas applying to study in Australia rocketed from AUS$710 to AUS$1,600 as of July 1.

With costs to study in Australia now among some of the highest globally, leaders in international education pointed out the move is likely to deter overseas students from applying to Australian universities in favour of other popular study destinations.

Australia’s minister for home affairs Claire O’Neil said the policy would “help restore integrity to our international education system, and create a migration system which is fairer, smaller and better able to deliver for Australia”.

But the Group of Eight blasted the decision as a “blatant revenue-raising move masked as deterring low quality students” and “another nail in the coffin for international education”.

“Australia now has among the highest visa fees in the world. The current fee of AUS$710 is already more than double that of comparable nations (New Zealand AUS$344; Canada AUS$168; US AUS$283) and increasing this non-refundable application fee to AUS$1,600 sends entirely the wrong message to market,” it pointed out.

Its chief executive Vicki Thomson said the measure would only act as “a deterrent” to overseas students. “The recent crackdown on visa approvals has already sent a strong signal that we are not open for business,” she said.

It is death by a thousand cuts to our most successful services export sector

Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight

She added: “Yet again our international students are being used as cash cows to prop up the economy, the national research effort and now to fund other government initiatives.

“It is death by a thousand cuts to our most successful services export sector.”

Professor at Deakin University Ly Tran took to LinkedIn to brand the move “disheartening”.

“I would say this shows how international students are both treated as cash cows and unwelcome. This damages and devalues, instead of increasing value, Australian international education,” she said.

And IEAA CEO Phil Honeywood said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he “can’t believe” the move.

“This will make Australia more than double the cost of other countries. This is exploiting young people,” he wrote.

In April, multiple peak bodies in Australia had urged the government not to heed the recommendation of the Grattan Institute to up the visa fees.

At the time, ITECA chief executive Troy Williams said any such hike in the charge “would be consistent with the Australian government’s clear policy intent to reduce the size of the international education sector”.

“[The measure] would penalise overseas students wanting to take up study in Australia” and be a “job killer”, particularly in the vocational educational and training sector,” he added.

The post “Another nail in the coffin”: Australian student visa hike slammed appeared first on The PIE News.

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