More international students leave Australia: Report

Experts warn that further college collapses and job losses were expected.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2010, 15:28 PM IST

Melbourne: More international students are now leaving Australia than arriving, sending down total enrolments across the sector for the first time.

The USD 18 billion education export sector complains the crackdown has been too heavy-handed, `The Australian` reported.

The worst-hit stream that has reported a drop of 18 percent is the English language sector, where enrolments are down by almost 20,000 students.

Experts have warned that further college collapses and job losses were expected.

Last week, English language college HHH International in Brisbane collapsed with debts of more than USD 1 million, stranding more than 200 students.

About 40 staff will lose their jobs.

The report said as at the end of August, total international student enrolments were down 0.4 percent from a year ago at 561,269.

Commencements have dropped nearly 9 percent accounting the loss of 26,000 students.

Enrolments in higher education remain up 8.7 percent but commencement growth has slowed to just 2.6 percent compared with 5.6 percent at the end of July.

English Language Australia executive director Sue Blundell said the high Australian dollar was a key factor, but she also blamed the visa crackdown.

PTI