fbpx
Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
Help shape the future of international education at the ICEF Monitor Global Summit London, September 23rd 2024
11th Nov 2020

Shutdown of study abroad for Australian students a reminder that international education is a “two-way street”

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • Following years of steady growth in the number of Australian degree students pursuing studies abroad, outbound numbers are expected to have fallen to nearly zero this year
  • With widespread travel restrictions still in place, study abroad for Australian degree students is likely to be severely curtailed in 2021 as well
  • A new study predicts important knock-on effects in leadership development and graduate employability as a result

A new study highlights that study abroad programmes for Australian students have essentially ground to a halt this year, with the prospect that up to 100,000 Australian students will have their overseas programmes disrupted through 2021.

The analysis, carried out by industry consultancy Studymove and commissioned by the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA), notes that more than 52,000 Australian students went abroad in 2019, a number that dropped to virtually zero this year during the pandemic.

With travel restrictions and border closures expected to remain in place into 2021, the analysts conclude that the plans of up to 100,000 Australian students may be affected by the time mobility begins to resume on a larger scale.

Number of Australian students on learning programmes abroad, 2009-2018, with volumes estimated for 2019 and 2020. Source: Studymove

As we have reported previously, roughly one-quarter of all Australian undergraduate students participated in study abroad as part of their degree programmes in 2018. Across all levels of study, 18.5% of Australian students went abroad in 2018, up from 13.9% in 2015.

The top five destinations for Australian students as of 2018 were China, USA, UK, Italy and Japan. Indo-Pacific countries host roughly half of outbound Australian undergraduate students.

The link to employability

The authors draw a direct line between the gap in study abroad opportunities and the future employment prospects of Australian students. "This will result in a domino effect which is going to have a lasting impact on career outcomes and overall employability goals," they note. "According to a study from PwC, enterprises across the world are using international mobility experiences to develop future leaders and advance the careers of key talent."

The study relies in part on a survey of Australian university students carried out in September 2020. More than eight in ten (84%) of responding students considered the opportunity to study abroad as "fairly important" or "very important". More than half (55%) said that they saw international study experience during their degree programmes as key to their employability.

A similar proportion (56%) said that they hoped to study abroad in the future, but that the timing and even destination would depend on the progress of the pandemic.

"More than half of the students indicated that they will now consider undertaking an international study experience in a country with low levels of COVID-19 in order to feel safe. Based on these results, it will be important to effectively consider and manage travel bubbles which enable students to undertake an international experience in a safe environment."

"What factors would need to be in place to make it safe and for you to feel comfortable to travel overseas in 2021?" Source: Studymove

For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • Australia: Study visa grants down nearly a third through April 2024 Read More
  • Study maps employment pathways for international graduates in US; calls for expanded career services Read More
  • Home Office data confirms downturn in UK visa issuances through Q1 2024 Read More

Most Popular

  • Comparing student visa proof of funds requirements across 20 study destinations Read More
  • Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Read More
  • Lessons from Denmark: The downside of limiting international student flows Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Australia: Study visa grants down nearly a third through April 2024 Data from Australia’s Department of Home Affairs shows that study visa grants are down significantly for the first...
Read more
Study maps employment pathways for international graduates in US; calls for expanded career services Career motivations are consistently revealed in major global research studies to be a primary driver of the choices...
Read more
Home Office data confirms downturn in UK visa issuances through Q1 2024 A 13 June data release from the UK Home Office confirms a decrease in student visa issuances for...
Read more
Australia moves to curtail onshore “visa hopping” Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil announced today the next phase of implementation in the package of...
Read more
ICEF Podcast: The outlook for international education in the USA – live from NAFSA Listen in as ICEF’s Craig Riggs and Martijn van de Veen recap some recent industry news, including an...
Read more
Canada’s Immigration Minister signals that changes are coming to post-study work rights For more than 15 years now, international students have been able to come to Canada, complete any type...
Read more
IDP investor guidance warns of market downturn through 2025 IDP Education is one the largest service providers in international education. As a publicly traded company on the...
Read more
US launches new market diversification dashboard Given the need for new and better ways to collect and interpret data on international student movement, we...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links