international student life

international student

Visa Restriction and their Effect on International Education.

How students find alternative places to study and its implications.

The most popular destinations for international students are English speaking countries of United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom (UK), New Zealand and surprisingly, Thailand, which is both a big source and destination for International Students from the Asia Pacific Nations.

Countries like the UK are reducing their student Visas and this is having a major implication for both international students and other destinations countries popular with students. Many prospective international students are now looking to other countries that offer quality education when specific countries restrict their issuance of student visas.

Other students are increasing their efforts to get the few remaining visas available while countries like Thailand are developing their international education institutions to be able to take advantage of the growing opportunity presented by the visa restrictions in other countries.

Higher education in an English speaking country offers students an opportunity to experience a broader world view and gain higher technical knowledge and cultural skills. The higher education market is therefore expanding to cater for the growing need for international education so that its available to many people and not the elites only.

However, international education is affected by various factors like Government visa rules, Employment opportunities in host countries and other Government policies that may support or hinder international education. For the institutions involved, the admittance of international students can be a critical revenue generator that can keep them financially afloat.

In the UK for example, they want to reduce international student visas by 25% due to resistance to immigration and abuses of student visas. This will bring a reduction in revenue institutions receive from international students and may mean a rise in fees for local students. Many local students donít want their fees raised, so the Government is treading carefully on this issue to find a balance between restricted immigration and need for revenues from international students to help keep colleges financially afloat and keep local student tuition fees low.

Australia is another country popular with international students especially from Asia. It is estimated that for every five students in Australia, one is an international students who pays full fees. Money brought in by international students constitutes more than 10% of their colleges revenues.

Australia also has many offshore campuses mainly in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and South Africa that offer Australian degrees and training. There are also many students enrolled as distance learners in Australian universities.

The largest number of international students in Australian universities study Information Technology courses with most students coming from China, India, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Therefore international students are very important revenue generator for Australiaís higher education institutions.

The United States is the largest destination for international students with about 700,000 enrolled every year. This number had been growing steadily but the 9/11 terrorist attach and the resulting visa restrictions, as well as competition from other English speaking countries has seen international students going to the United States slowly declining.

The most popular fields of study for international students in the US are Business Management, Engineering, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Math, Computer science and Health related professions.

Canada is another popular destination for international students with their numbers steadily increasing. Now international education has become a major source of revenue for Canada. The growth is steady and has been increased by the sharp increase of students from Saudi Arabia due to the oil rich kingdomís new scholarship program funding international study for their students.

Since there is a big supply of great destinations for international study, a drop in enrollment to one country due to visa restrictions will lead to students finding other alternative destinations and otherís studying in English programs in their own countries.


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