Anti-immigration sentiment in global markets had resulted in more international students than ever looking to Australia to further their education, according to student accommodation provider Atira.
Atira says with the Australian second semester fast-approaching, enquiry levels from overseas students who had previously considered studying in the USA and UK had risen approximately 20% compared with the same period last year.
CEO of Atira Student Living, Andrea Slingsby, said immigration restrictions and visa ambiguity imposed by US President Donald Trump and other global events such as Brexit had created confusion and uncertainty in the international student population.
“Students are more likely than ever to seek out alternative markets that they perceive to be safer or more stable in the current climate,’’ Ms Slingsby said.
“Australia has always been a highly desirable destination for overseas students, but now even more so.
“We have seen a significant spike in international enquiry for our new 420 bed facility due to come online at Waymouth Street, Adelaide in early 2018 on the back of this global instability’’ she said.
However Ms Slingsby says that messaging this week around Mr Turnball’s stance on the tightening of visa conditions could potentially create a similar flow on effect and act to dampen student enquiries for Australian education opportunities.
Ms Slingsby said that clarity of visa conditions and the ability for Australia to be able to provide work opportunities for students both during and after their academic study program was essential to maintain our attractiveness to international students.
International education is one of Australia’s top service exports valued at more than $19 billion per annum and growing.
The Atira model was extremely attractive to international students as it nurtured academic success through the provision of home-like support and connection in world-class accommodation facilities.
“Recognising that academic success is enhanced when we create a meaningful sense of comfort, connection and belonging culminates in a superior overall experience for our students,’’ she said.
Atira aims to build a significant portfolio within five years, delivering 10,000 purpose built student beds in premium inner city locations across Australia and New Zealand.