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Red Tape Reduces Australia's Competitiveness In The Global Market

04 Dec 2012


Immigration News

 

ADELAIDE'S chief lobby group for attracting international students has blamed the cost and bureaucracy of the nation's visa regime for reducing Australia's competitiveness in the global market.

A new annual report from Education Adelaide shows Australia has lost 9.6 per cent of its international students while English-speaking competitors Canada, the US and UK have had major growth.

In 2011-12, South Australia outperformed the nation with only an 8.6 per cent student loss, down to 31,334. However, latest figures show grow in the northern hemisphere markets of between 5 and 11 per cent.

The major shift has been in students from India and China shunning Australia and going north.

SA's decline was stalled by a 7.6 per cent growth in students from Saudi Arabia, many of them on scholarships.

The high Australian dollar is also denting international student numbers Australia-wide.

In the annual report, Education Adelaide chief executive Denise von Wald acknowledges the sector "faced major challenges" over the past year.

"As well as the falling numbers of international students coming to Australia, South Australia has the added complication of being a smaller and less well-known study destination," she says.

"The high Australian dollar increased competition for students and the impact of visa policy changes combined to continue the overall decline in numbers of international students coming to Australia."

She says SA bucked the national trend by promoting Adelaide's comparatively low cost of living.

It is also hoped new Emirates flight routes from Adelaide to Dubai would increase visits from the Middle East.

Visa processing is expensive in Australia and can take twice as long as in competitor countries.

In March, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced changes aimed at streamlining the international student visa system, including providing more flexible work conditions.

It came as part of a review by former NSW minister Michael Knight, broadly welcomed by the sector.

SA's share of Australia's international students has grown since 2002, from 4 to 5.6 per cent.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/red-tape-reduces-australias-competitiveness-in-the-global-market/story-e6frg6n6-1226529235285


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