Back in April, we published an article that outlined what impending changes for the 457 visa would meanfor foreign students hoping to attend university in Australia. In response to arecent survey by PIER, the digital branch of International Education Services(IES), we’ve decided to re-examine the topic.
The survey targeted South Asian agents and queried theperception of Australia as a study destination, with 337 respondents from avariety of countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka andNepal.
Both students and agents cited post study work rights as apositive aspect of the Australian educational experience, while cost, racism, accommodationand cultural differences, along with changes to the visa, were considered deterrents.
The simplification of the student visa framework, withalterations such as mandatory two years of work experience and greater English proficiency, was well received. These alterations will be fullyimplemented by March 2018.
Despite 10 per cent of Bangladeshi respondents having “avery negative perception” of Australia, the overall opinion from South Asiannations was positive, with the weather, tourism-style activities and marketingcampaigns all considerable factors.
That’s not to say there isn’t competition for students. Asfar as English-speaking countries go, Canada was Australia’s closest rival andseen in a positive manner by over 50 per cent of students surveyed, while theUnited States was another popular choice.
Only time will tell just how much of an impact the 457 visawill have on Australia’s status as a premium destination for internationalstudents.