COVID-19 has resulted in international students being unable to travel to Australia to start their studies, destroying one of our most lucrative sectors.
In this podcast, we were joined by Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, to talk about the impact of the pandemic on universities, students and the economy, and the way forward.
Honeywood says data shows that many international students have voted tirelessly and abandoned their Australian courses to study elsewhere – in the UK, Canada, and now even in the United States, in line with Joe Biden’s more open door policy.
“For example, the enrollment of international students at British universities is increasing by more than 30% year on year. […] They collect full pay, pay international students at the expense of Australia, and we are losing huge market share to these countries because they have kept the doors open throughout the pandemic. ”
“And, as we know, it also affected our agriculture, horticulture and hotel business in our economy, which relied heavily on international students to fill low-skilled jobs.”
One of the challenges of restarting the industry is what Honeywood calls “parcel delivery syndrome.”
“On the one hand, the federal government says that yes, the state government can be the master of its own destiny, and is putting forward a plan for the return of students that the federal government has approved. On the other hand, when it looked like we were going to bring a large number of foreign students back to the same state, the federal government reminded everyone that no, in fact, they control the border troops. They control entry into the country with visas, and they would prefer to tell the state to return to its box. “
Honeywood criticizes the Home Office for not wanting to issue student visas for Africans. These students travel to the UK by “tens of thousands”, but “our Department of Home Affairs issues student visas. […] seem to prefer to simply say no to African students. “
Honeywood also says that “it is very important to understand the motivation of young people who want to study in another country. For many of them, this is an obvious chance to study their personality, to prove their resilience. “
A report released this week by the International Education Association of Australia called Student Voices found that “Australia’s appetite for face-to-face education is a major driving force.”