Abstract The situation in the educational sector


The situation in the educational sector of Australia which is connected with the question of international students’ participating in such programs and courses as ELICOS during 2007-2011 should be analyzed in details.

The main objective of the report is to examine the factors which can influence the fact of falling of the number of those students from Colombia and Saudi Arabia who attend ELICOS in 2011 and growing of the number of Italian students. The data of the current statistics and the information from the Internet resources are used for developing of the investigation.

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Today English is considered to be the language of the international communication and the language of the global economy and politics. As a result, we can find out a lot of social and economic reasons for learning of the English language. This fact results in the popularity of ELICOS in Australia as the prospect to learn the language effectively (Studies in Australia 2011). Thus, the higher education system in Australia is famous all over the world, and a lot of students from many countries go to Australia to study at colleges and universities.

However, today international higher education in Australia is under pressure because of a number of economic reasons. The rate of international students who take part in ELICOS alters greatly in 2011 in comparison with the circumstances of 2010 (Student Visa Statistics).

The tendency is that the number of international students from the Asian region and from South America was reduced and the amount of students from European countries grew (Studies in Australia 2011). It is necessary to analyze the causes for the phenomenon with the help of examining of the situation for such countries as Columbia, Saudi Arabia and Italy. “Italy showed the strongest growth of any country (in terms of numbers of students) with an additional 124 students” (English Australia Report on AEI Statistics 2011).


The purpose of the report is to study the factors which can influence the situation of lessening of the number of those students from Columbia and Saudi Arabia who attend ELICOS and to examine the conditions of the situation with Italian students. Moreover, it is required to offer the analysis of the reasons for the phenomenon using the data of statistics for 2007-2011.


To provide the effective analysis of the reasons for falling of the number of Columbian and Saudi students and increasing of the number of Italian students, the data of statistics for 2007-2011 should be examined and analyzed, and the material from the Internet resources should be discussed.


The proper examination of the data of statistics for 2007-2011 and of the information from the Internet resources is effective for the analysis of the problem associated with the amount of international students participating in ELICOS in Australia (Overseas students to Australia decreased 2011).

While analyzing of the data of the statics which present the results about the quantity of international students from Columbia, we can observe the progress in the amount of Colombian students during the period of 2007-2010 and its decline in 2011. A great number of Colombian students went to Australia in the period of 2007-2009 because the Australian government supported and encouraged international students from South America and worked out the system of cooperation with Colombia.

Moreover, Australia offered scholarships to Colombian students, and in 2010 the number of students remained quite high. However, the situation has changed in 2011, and the amount of Colombian students is not more than 2000 students now. The reasons for the fact are the effects of the global economic crisis, visa restrictions and rising of the costs for the international education (Colombia Country Brief 2011).

The graph above illustrates the positions of international students from Italy during 2007-2011. Thus, we can observe the sudden jump in the number of Italian students in 2011 because the governments of Italy and Australia have worked out the principles of advantageous cooperation in the sphere of education.

Today the amount of Italian students is more than 350 students, but in 2010 it was only 250. The reason for the shift is also the development of the governmental programs in Italy which support students’ getting of the education abroad (Hassan 2010). Moreover, Italian students succeeded in winning of the Australian Government’s “Endeavour Awards 2011” (International Student Insurance 2010; Jones 2011).

It is obvious from the chart that the quantity of Saudi students in Australia in 2011 reduces in comparison with 2010. However, it was continuously growing during 2007 and 2008 because in 2006 King Abdullah supported establishing of the scholarship program in Saudi Arabia, and the government developed the opportunities for getting higher education in Australia.

The Australian government also encouraged Saudi students because of the governmental programs of cooperation between these countries. The most obvious result of the process was observed in 2008 when the number of students was about 2000 (International Student Insurance 2010).

Australia was also attractive for Saudi students in 2009 because the Saudi government promoted their students and provided them with the financial and academic support.

Moreover, the scholarship program was improved in 2010. However, the government of Australia adopted visa restrictions and increased the costs for study, and this fact resulted in growing of the amount of students from Saudi Arabia who experienced financial difficulties studying in Australia, the effects were quite negative (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2010).

Many factors of the development of the global economy and Australian economic sector and various social issues can be considered as the most significant reasons for the transformation of the situation with the amount of international students (Jacinthe 2011).

Among the most influential socio-economic factors the impact of the global financial crisis, a high Australian dollar, the progress in the competition between such countries as the US in the educational sphere can be determined (Phillimore and Koshy 2010; Martin 2011). Moreover, such factors as reputational damage caused by attacks on international students and student welfare concerns are also rather influential (Martin 2011).

However, there are also such significant aspects as skilled migration rules and a great number of restrictive visa conditions which were admitted by the Australian government (Martin 2011). “2011 shows a continuation and acceleration of the decline for ELICOS. ELICOS student visa commencements declined by -16.5 % for YTD 2011 to produce a total of 33, 481 commencements. This decline represents 6,615 fewer commencing students than YTD 2010” (English Australia Report on AEI Statistics 2011).

Conclusion and Recommendations

Australia is popular with a great number of international students who go there for attending various courses and participating in the educational programs every year. However, today international students from Colombia and Saudi Arabia can experience difficulties with their visas and migration processes because of the restrictions which were accepted by the Australian government (Student Visa Statistics).

This fact can be considered as decisive for the fall in the amount of students. The situation with Italy is quite opposite because there are the governmental programs of supporting of European students who study in Australia (Student Visa Statistics).

Therefore, the ways for altering of the current circumstances were determined. It is obvious, that “there is a need for a reconsideration of higher education policy settings in view of the current international climate. This presents both opportunities and challenges for the Australian sector which need to be addressed in view of government’s goals for higher education in general” (Phillimore and Koshy 2010).

That is why the measures which can help to attract a great number of international students to Australia again should be worked out. It is also important to understand some changes in the process of migrations and visa questions, and there is the necessity of reducing of the negative effects of the situation for the economy of the country.


Colombia Country Brief (2011) Education. [Online] Available from: http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/colombia/colombia_brief.html [Accessed 27 November 2011].

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2010) Saudi Arabia country brief. [Online] Available from: http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/saudi_arabia/saudi_brief.html [Accessed 27 November 2011].

English Australia Report on AEI Statistics (2011) ELICOS: Commencing enrolments YTD. ELICOS report.

Hassan S. (2010) Is Australia still a dream for international students? [Online] Available from: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9884 [Accessed 27 November 2011].

International Student Insurance 2010, Enrolment of International Students Drops in Australia. [Online] Available from: http://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/blog/2010/09/enrollment-of-international-students-drop-in-australia.html [Accessed 27 November 2011].

Jacinthe (2011) Brisbane on the Lookout for International Students. [Online] Available from: http://www.nationalvisas.com.au/blog/immigration-visas/brisbane-on-the-lookout-for-international-students/ [Accessed 27 November 2011].

Jones M. (2011) Oz government blamed for decrease in foreign student enrolments in Australia. [Online] Available from: http://www.canadaupdates.com/content/oz-government-blamed-decrease-foreign-student-enrolments-australia-16196.html [Accessed 27 November 2011].

Martin K. (2011) International student total enrolments and new commencements AEI PRISMS data YTD March 2011. [Online] Available from: http://www.cophe.edu.au/opencms/opencms/public/modules/news/news_0039.html?uri=/public/index.html [Accessed 27 November 2011].

The author of the article focuses on the peculiarities of student total enrolments and new commencements which are adopted by the government of Australia toward international students.

Overseas students to Australia decreased (2011) [Online] Available from: http://www.nationalvisas.com.au/blog/australian-news/overseas-students-to-australia-decreased/ [Accessed 27 November 2011].

Phillimore J. and Koshy P. (2010) The Economic Implications of Fewer International Higher Education Students in Australia, The John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, Curtin University of Technology, Australia.

The authors of the investigation focus on the relations of the educational sector of Australia and the economy of the country.

Student Visa Statistics (2011) Student Visa Program report. [Online] Available from: http://www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/study/ [Accessed 27 November 2011].

Studies in Australia (2011) International Students in Australia. [Online] Available from: http://www.studiesinaustralia.com/studying-in-australia/why-study-in-australia/international-students-in-australia [Accessed 27 November 2011].