Several foreign students registered in Australian universities who were detained overseas due to border restrictions and therefore are unable to attend in-person education are now looking to study in other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
The tougher border controls imposed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, relative to entrance procedures in the US and the UK, are one of the main reasons why international students are reconsidering their decision to study in Australia, according to the report.
A student, Sakhawat Alee, at Sydney’s Macquarie University, informed SBS News that he had to travel to his home country of Pakistan for a medical emergency in March, but that due to the immigration ban, he has been unable to return to Australia since 20 March 2020.
“I waited for Australia to reopen its borders to international students for a year after that,” Alee claimed he postponed his studies thrice before deciding to move to the United Kingdom in 2021 and enrolling at the University of Bradford.
An Indian student, Divij Gupta, at the University of Western Australia started his Bachelor’s degree in July of last year, but he is still unable to visit Australia or attend in-person lessons.
He told SBS News that he bought $2,500 for a one-way ticket to Melbourne, with an arrival date of December 3, 2021. Despite this, Gupta and other international students who were scheduled to arrive in Australia on December 1 had to reschedule their arrival by two weeks due to the new Covid-19 version Omicron, meaning they will be allowed to enter Australia only on December 15.
Despite the statement, Health Minister Greg Hunt has refused to commit to even this date. “It’s our intention at the end of that period, subject to the science and medical advice, to return to the previous settings. It will depend on the international evidence,” Hunt told Sky News.
Numerous overseas students enrolled at Australian universities have expressed their dissatisfaction with Australia’s admission prohibition, and some have stated that they simply want their stuff returned to them. The majority of overseas students prefer to pursue further education at Canadian universities, according to a recent study by IDP Connect including 3,650 students.
According to the poll, 39 per cent of students say Canada is their first preference for higher education, followed by 17 per cent who say the United States and the United Kingdom are both their first choices, and 16 per cent who say Australia is their first choice.
Additionally, the report finds that Canada is the most popular study location for 69 per cent of students, followed by the United Kingdom (48 per cent), Australia, and the United States (46 per cent each).
72 per cent of students choose to migrate to Canada because they value the flexibility to work part-time while studying, 66 per cent because tuition prices are inexpensive, and 64 per cent because of the cost of living.
Simultaneously, the study indicated that 81 per cent of overseas students choose to study on campus, while 18 per cent prefer to complete their degrees online. Meanwhile, Jonah Duffin, Director of External Relations at IDP Connect, believes that as vaccine restrictions and limitations are implemented, more international students will join off-campus classes.
Canada, along with the United Kingdom, has previously surpassed the United States as the most popular study destination for international students.