Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, it has resulted in substantial changes in the international education industry. One of the critical areas of change is the number of students who are deferring their studies. We have summarised below data from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
Data provided by the Department of Education Skills and Employment shows that comparing 2019 to 2020, there is an increase of 60,870 deferments of courses among students due to compassionate and compelling grounds. This is understandable as due to COVID-19 border restrictions; many students are unable to return to Australia to continue their studies.
To break it down, we will now look at the deferment based on the education sector. Many students in Higher Education has deferred their studies. Comparing 2019 and 2020, there is an increase of approximately 34,171 students deferring their courses. On the other hand, for VET, around 10,791 students had decided to postpone. This is an increase of 4,073 students compared to last year. For schools’ students, 2,190 students deferred in the first quarter of the year, increasing deferrals to 1,938 compared to 2019.
Data provided by the Department also break downs the deferments based on nationality. The country with the most deferrals is China. A total of 39,954 students had to defer their course. This is likely due to the border restrictions that took place at the start of the year, causing a substantial number of Chinese nationals not being able to return to Australia. Following China, 4,590 Indian students deferred their studies. This is an increase of 1,924 students compared to last year. Colombian students had to also defer their studies, around 1,077 Colombian students postponed due to compassionate and compelling grounds.
Of the 60,780 deferred students in the YTD May 2020, around 7,355 (12%) had resumed studying. Another 58 % had deferred their start date to the later half of 2020, and around 22% had either deferred their studies to 2021 or had not yet choose a start date. Data also showed that students who had deferred to the second half of 2020 might opt to study online or delay their studies even further.
The international education sector is one of Australia key industries. With the closure of Australia’s borders, it is estimated that Australia’s revenue would drop by 3 billion this year. To be able to cope with the dire financial situation, there will be massive cuts in the education sectors. It is estimated that 21,000 jobs would be lost, including 7,000 research-related academic positions.
2019-2020 Migration Numbers
In October, the government is expected to announce migration number changes in the budget. There are signs suggesting that there will be significant cuts to the 2020/21 migration program due to COVID-19.
For now, let’s take the time to see the outcomes of the 2019/20 migration program.
In 2019/20, the number of permanent residency intake was 140,366. Below is a breakdown of the visas issued:
- 95,843 visas were issued under skilled stream.
- 41,961 visas were issued under the family stream.
- 81 visas were issued under special eligibility.
- 2,481 visas were issued under child visa.
The skilled stream compromised of the following:
- Employer Sponsored – 29,261
- Skilled Independent – 12,986
- Regional Employer Sponsored – 8,372
- Regional Skilled Work – 15,000
- State/Territory Nominated – 21,495
- Business Innovation and Investment – 4,420
- Global Talent – 4,109
- Distinguished Talent – 200
The family stream includes:
Under the 2019/20 humanitarian program 13,171 intake were granted. The breakdown of the number is as follow:
- Refugee category visas – 6,422
- Special Humanitarian Program visas – 5,099
- Onshore visas – 1,650