Export education slump looms
Australian universities face a dramatic decline in the foreign students market following a general fall in the number of mainlanders going abroad to study.
Officials in Beijing have told Australian diplomats that the number of mainland students prepared to pay full fees to study at overseas universities fell for the first time last year. The news will add to growing concern in Australia that the export education market may have peaked last year. There is also a decline in the number of Hong Kong students studying in Australia. Australian Immigration Department figures show the number of student visas issued to Hong Kongers fell by almost 8 per cent between July 2003 and June last year.
Overall enrolments of its students in Australian education institutions dropped by 4 per cent while the number of new students arriving from Hong Kong fell by 14 per cent.