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Policy changes are required in Australia to welcome overseas students
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Asia & Australia News

Policy changes are required in Australia to welcome overseas students

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Mar 16, 2022
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6 min read
students sitting in a college classroom

International students have returned to Australia almost two years after the borders were closed.

There is a rise in international students in Australia by 29,856 in the first six weeks. The Australian government opened the borders in mid-December.

Sources say there have been nearly 300,000 fewer international students in Australia since the pandemic. There are about 147,000 students outside Australia. And not just the educational institutions will apprehensively see the rate at which students return.

International students are said to be a vital part of the workforce for hospitality industries in particular. Most of them work as hospitality workers and carers. The Australian government is now focusing on attracting international students by enabling offerings such as visa refunds reducing limits on entering the market.

Has anything changed since the borders opened?

Liberating the cross border conditions since December 2021 has transposed a constant fall-off in the international student numbers. There were 248,750 international students in Australia, at its ground count. A decline of nearly 57% before the pandemic, records lowest since 2007.

However, compared with some countries, students have returned to Australia significantly since borders reopened. Students coming to Australia from India and Nepal are huge in numbers. There has been a significant 50% rise in students coming in from these two countries in the past six weeks.

In comparison, Chinese international students did not seem to return to Australia rapidly. Additional 86,000 students are seen to remain outside Australia. Nevertheless, overseas international students account for nearly 60%.

China has recorded vast numbers of student visa holders since borders opened. A rise of about 5500. It suggests many new applications coming in from Chinese students, and they have been granted visas as well.

Why is the labour market important?

people walking around sydney opera house

It suggests one of the main reasons students return at different times. Maybe due to the labour market.

The 2016 census data says the Nepalese and Indian students are most likely to become a part of the labour pool. About 87 per cent of Nepalese and 78 per cent of Indian students are seen to be a part of the market pool. In Australia, when compared to less than 21 percent of students from China.

The government has been making sincere efforts to get the International students back to Australia. This itself shows how necessary labour is to many parts of their economy. The 2016 data showed how recently graduated students accounted for nearly 2 percent of the total labour force. This student workforce is fixed in areas recording lapse.

Before the pandemic, about 15 percent of waiters, 12 percent of kitchen hands and 10 percent of cooks and chefs were current or recently graduated international students. About 11 percent of commercial cleaners were current or recent international students. Hence, these occupations faced challenges in finding staff.

International students have been reported to work in hospitality roles too. It suggests overall, 9% of nursing and personal care workers were current or recent graduates. The Pre Pandemic workforce included a large number of international students. 

Are there any assumptions of students' role as workers in Australia?

Entry to the international market has been a debatable aspect of international education. International students are required to prove that they are "genuine" and not using a student visa to enter the country predominantly to work. 

The primary reason for students to choose Australia is diverse and complicated. However, the capability to work is a meaningful discussion.

Australia has been competing with other countries regarding access to the labour market. The country also eliminated the need for students to apply for a work visa separately. 

It suggests that international students have been able to work for 20 hours a week. The limit has been uplifted until at least April 2022.

The 2011 knight review says many international students can apply for a post-study visa. It lets them work in Australia for between one to five years, after finishing their course.

Related posts: Western Australia state reopens to international students.

Many countries compete to attract many international students by using the post-study work rights tactics. 

The loosening of work conditions, though temporary, shows that institutions that rely on international students and that the Australian labour market will benefit too. 

When welcoming international students back to Australia, it is crucial that their rights are being protected. These students can be sensitive or mishandled in the workplace. Current visas can boost international students to go through affordable courses to stay in Australia. 

As international education restores, there will be a better chance of understanding the link between international education and diaspora; occupation can help familiarize policy safeguards everyone's interests in the sector.

Bhagyashri Saswadkar is a Web Journalist at Amberstudent. She writes when she's happy and feels writing helps her understand people. Writing has always been a companion to her! Additionally, she enjoys listening to classical music and is a big-time food lover! Bhagyashri Saswadkar

Bhagyashri Saswadkar is a Web Journalist at Amberstudent. She writes when she's happy and feels writing helps her understand people. Writing has always been a companion to her! Additionally, she enjoys listening to classical music and is a big-time food lover!

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