Whether to learn English or other studies, international students are a huge source of Australia’s international income. Considering the nature of the industry and that it is only just second to mining, and the major other flow on effects of having wealthy students living in our country for extended periods of time, there is always a lot more we can do for the industry and their stay here. Considering that we are not the only option in the world, and the market is competitive, here is a look at some issues that we can tackle.
- Work related assistance. Part time work is not only good for education it is a way to manage students working while they are on a student visa in Australia. A government agency to manage this and find ways to integrate international students into the Australian work force would have a number of beneficial effects – most importantly addressing the issue of working illegally and under the table money. Changing the amount of hours that students can work if they are qualified is also another realistic option. This can be a good way for them to integrate into the Australian society and better build the Australian economy.
- Fees. Despite being the number one money earner in Australia, could we increase the number of international students in Australia if the fees or the taxes on fees were to be reduced? A small reduction in the cost would result in much larger numbers of students coming to Australia every year. With such a big industry and huge market potential, could it not benefit some some bigger tax breaks? Money in the Australian economy has enormous benefits.
- Managing bad schools and loss. Some students still find themselves in the situation where they lose their fees to schools that close down. Students must pay up front in many cases, and there is little assistance if this is the case. This is unfortunate that this still happens and having systems in place to protect those who pay substantial amounts of money upfront is extremely important. Despite measures taken to date, there are still many cases of this happening. If you are considering staying in Australia to study anything, from basic English, to marketing courses with private institutions, you should always stick with organisations that have a good reputation and have a credible history. A newer institution will certainly not be as good.
- Immigration. We are long from the days of the White Australia policy but it is still a fact that Australia is a very hard country to migrate to. Countries like the United States have benefited greatly from immigration and to date, Australia has also. With such a small population, is it not time that Australia seriously looked at raising immigration rates and instead of fearing losing jobs? It is about time that the people and country of Australia realised that we are losing to the high costs of living, such as with internet and mobile phone costs to name a few, because we have such a small market. More people means more business and opportunity. If you have studied and put a good proportion of your young life into a country, then there should be a good chance of staying there.