Back in April, we published an article that outlined what impending changes for the 457 visa would mean for foreign students hoping to attend university in Australia. In response to a recent 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 the perception of Australia as a study destination, with 337 respondents from a variety of countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Both students and agents cited post study work rights as a positive aspect of the Australian educational experience, while cost, racism, accommodation and cultural differences, along with changes to the visa, were considered deterrents.
The simplification of the student visa framework, with alterations such as mandatory two years of work experience and greater English proficiency, was well received. These alterations will be fully implemented by March 2018.
Despite 10 per cent of Bangladeshi respondents having “a very negative perception” of Australia, the overall opinion from South Asian nations was positive, with the weather, tourism-style activities and marketing campaigns all considerable factors.
That’s not to say there isn’t competition for students. As far as English-speaking countries go, Canada was Australia’s closest rival and seen in a positive manner by over 50 per cent of students surveyed, while the United States was another popular choice.
Only time will tell just how much of an impact the 457 visa will have on Australia’s status as a premium destination for international students.