Indian international student visa applications surge

The latest Australian Government data on international students reveals a massive shift from China, where enrolments are now falling, towards India and Nepal.

Applications for student visas are the best leading indicator for actual international student enrolments.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, student visas granted to Indians and Nepalese surged by 34% and 20% respectively in the year to June, with both ballooning by 125% (India) and 198% (Nepal) in the three years since 2016:

Actual new student enrolments from India and Nepal are also booming, increasing by 35% (India) and 19% (Nepal) in the year to August, with new enrolments also ballooning by 87% (India) and 192% (Nepal) since 2016:

Finally, total enrolments of Indian and Nepalese students surged by 35% (India) and 36% (Nepal) in the year to August, and ballooned by 82% and 212% respectively in the three years since 2016:

Given that both visa applications and new enrolments from India and Nepal have surged, total enrolments should continue to grow over the coming year.

There are dark clouds on the horizon, however, with various forces converging that will likely stop the international student boom in its tracks.

First, the federal government has recently cut its permanent migrant intake by 30,000. This has lowered the probability of transitioning to permanent residency, thereby reducing the incentive to study in Australia.

Second, the United Kingdom Government recently announced that it would copy Australia’s most generous two-year post study work rights for international students:

This change by the United Kingdom will make Australia a relatively less attractive study destination, and has already been labelled a “game changer” by the chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia, Phil Honeywood.

Third, the Department of Home Affairs has listed India and Nepal as “high-risk” markets for international students, which means that visa applicants will now need to meet stricter financial and English-language requirements to qualify.

Already, various Australian tertiary institutions have cancelled further enrolments from India and Nepal, with others likely to follow.

Therefore, while Indian and Nepalese student numbers are currently booming, the outlook is poor.

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)

Comments

  1. How good is “migrants to the regions” that have bushfires.

    150 houses destroyed, 40 people injured, and 3 dead.

    Double the regional population via “migrants to the regions” and we get 300 houses destroyed, 80 injured, and 6 dead.

    • “Double the regional population via “migrants to the regions” and we get 300 houses destroyed”

      Imagine the GDP boost.

      Indians also tend not to insure, imagine the new bank loans to be drawn to fund it….

      Ka-Ching !!!

  2. Just as well all these “university students” are all going to go home when they find it hard to find a wage theft employer to pay them less than award “no questions asked” while they “study” ……the requirements for obtaining PR.

    Snort.

    The RBA and Mr Frydenberg will be so sad about the resulting low inflation that they will have no choice but to increase the supply of cheap and easy credit to give the assets held by upper middle class asset price speculators another good nudge. Maybe next year they will just start buying them up as “QE” purchases.

    Just imagine the mess the ALP could make of the government if they actually criticised the government for flooding local labour markets with cheap labour that is eager to accept whatever some dodgy employer (i.e. large franchise outfits right through to mom and pops) thinks will stay under the table on the QT.

    But imagine is the best you can hope for because the ALP hacks now only identify with the progressive middle class aspirations of inner city voters, the type who once might have voted Australian Democrats just to show-up their liberal voting mums and dads on the North Shore and in the Eastern Suburbs but now vote Green or ALP.

    Middle class progressives love cheap labour in their cafe’s and asset prices that go up up up.

    • The Windy CityMEMBER

      As an inner city middle class progressive I am openly against the importation of a subcontinental underclass, remembering how I and everyone used to work in kitchens and as cleaners. But have to say, still waiting to get any likes for my tweets that say this.

      • But have to say, still waiting to get any likes for my tweets that say this.

        It does not seem to be a popular viewpoint. Though as above it’s often phrased clumsily, which doesn’t help.

    • ‘will have no choice but to increase the supply of cheap and easy credit to give the assets held by upper middle class asset price speculators another good nudge”

      Which is exactly what they will do regardless…

      “Just imagine the mess the ALP could make of the government if they actually criticised the government for flooding local labour markets with cheap labour”

      Well, no. Not really (and, yes I read your next paragraph), because the Australian voters don’t really care about this. Start a conversation about this with an average Australian and they will either look at you like you have 3 heads or will consider you racist. They care about franking credits, higher and higher property prices and superannuation gifts. Regardless; The ALP is, has been and will always be, pro mass immigration. It’s baked in. It will never change.

      “Middle class progressives love cheap labour in their cafe’s and asset prices that go up up up.”

      As do immigrants, sons and daughters of immigrants and generally the rest of Australia. The lower and upper class is either too ignorant or stupid or both to care.

  3. Outlook is poor! LOL! You cannot get a sports oval with a cricket pitch to yourself on the weekends, even during winter FFS. Informal cricket comps.

    • See it’s working! Our infrastructire was woefully under-utilised before. Open the gate fix thing.

      • And they’re paying handsomely for it…….In fact, they’re not even residents of the local council #yourratesatwork.

  4. The outlook may be poor for the tertiary education sector, which will lose fee income, but it is most certainy not for the country which will have a few less chain smoking (untaxed illegal cigarettes) food delivering low skill residents who will ‘transition’ from student visa to PR to Citizen and then start demanding their ‘entitlement’ to bring over their elderly parents to go straight into the aged pension / public hospital system. It is the lone bit of sensible action that is visible in this whole mess.

  5. They are poorer than the Chinese and are coming to work and send money back to India. Will be a net drag on the economy not a boost.

  6. Do waht I do. Whenever you catch an uber/didi just give them a 1 star rating. They’ll lose the ability to drive and all money from that trip.

      • Literally indian uber – its cheaper and if you use it a few times a week you get discounts – but even down to the language used in the app you can tell the devs were subcontinental. Surprised it doesn’t say “driver arrive – please do needful and stand out”

        • John Howards Bowling Coach

          Didi is from China, the Indian version is called Ola, I guess they are trying to pass it off as being Spanish?

  7. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Went to a restaurant (that I have frequented for many years ) for lunch with the memshaib and daughter
    Suddenly it’s been taken over by Indians …all the waiters and the cooks out the back .
    This is not a cheap place so paid some serious dosh for lunch …. the Indian on the till looked right offended when I failed to add the almost asked for tip to the Amex
    bill. Probably relying on that as the payment for his “student “ waiters . Don’t think that restaurant will be employing any Aussie kids for a while or getting any more business from me .

  8. John Howards Bowling Coach

    Last thing we want is any more International Students, the Indian’s are equally as bad as the Chinese students, neither have any interest in assimilating, are mostly rubbish at the course work anyway and they are all here for a job rather than an education. As someone else said above they are directly into any type of work, especially their wet dream of a public service role, are bone lazy and incompetent, while having an overwhelming sense of entitlement and self belief and all want to bring in their parents as well as their supposed partner for a sham marriage who gets work rights.

    Shut the gate!