An official report by the Department of Immigration has been released detailing the statistics of international students applying to study in Australia. The report indicates that the overall number of people in Australia on international student visas have decreased by 7.66 per cent over the last year.
However, the number of on-shore applications have increased by 16.2 per cent for the same period. These figures could indicate that once an international students is here they are likely to be interested in staying and continuing their studies abroad.
Such a theory brings encouragement to Australia's international education sector. Reportedly worth AU$17 billion, it is the country's third-largest export earner behind the agriculture and mining industries.
The 'come and see' attitude demonstrated by international students currently enrolled in Australian universities could encourage others to join them and might help to turn things around for Australia's international education sector.
The industry took a hit in 2009 with both offshore and onshore student visa applications recording a drop in the following quarters.
There are some international students who say that the media back home fail to report on the positive points of studying abroad. The Age reported one international student, Venu Arora, who says she feels the media ignore "how professionals gain" from studying abroad.
These gains include educational trajectories that are more open to inter-departmental study, Ms Arora went on to say.
A combination of relaxed student visa regulations and international, federally-funded advertising campaigns show that the Australian government is devoted to making this happen.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship reports that it currently processes more than 75 per cent of offshore student visas within 24 days, and that 75 per cent of onshore student visas are processed within 32 days of application.
There were over 180,000 student visas issued in in the first quarter of 2011, with more than 93 per cent of applications granted during this time.
As of March 2011, there were more than 380,000 people holding international student visas residing in Australia.
There is currently no cap on the number of international student visas issued by the department.
Successful applications for student visas can be made with the help of an accredited immigration lawyer.
A lawyer who specialises in immigration can navigate the application process with you and provide you with reliable advice on the requirements of an international student visa.