Nearly 50,000 international students arrived in Australia in February 2022, government data indicate.
Despite the strong number of students returning to the country, expert says that the number of student visas in February dropped compared to a month earlier, Erudera.com reports.
“While student arrivals in Feb were super strong at 49,420, offshore student visa applications in Feb fell to 8,996 after a strong Jan performance of 25,417. The fall was across all major source countries, particularly China & Nepal,” migration expert Abul Rizvi posted on Twitter.
According to data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 28,030 international students entered Australia in January 2022, increasing from 27,670 students compared with the same month of the last year.
Earlier in February, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke also said that Australia is welcoming back an increasing number of international students, backpackers, and skilled migrants.
Hawke stressed that there are more job opportunities available in Australia compared to the pre-pandemic period, also pointing out that there are more places available to backpackers and students as well.
“There are more jobs now available in Australia than before the COVID-19-Pandemic, and there are still many more places available to Backpackers and Students that we are ready to fill, so come on down,” Minister Hawke said.
A total of 56,000 international students arrived in Australia since late November 2021. From 24 to 30 January, some 7,000 international students returned to Australia.
“The number of international students in Australia total 355,627 for the January 2022 period. There was a change of -21% compared to the same period last year,” the government’s website notes.
The demand for Australian study visas has been strong since the beginning of 2022 as a result of the education department allocating additional resources to processing the visas of international students.
Due to the lack of international students, the Australian economy was significantly affected amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on international trade for the December quarter have shown a drop of almost 50 percent in the contribution of international education to the Australian economy, from $40.3 billion in 2019 to $22.5 billion in 2021.
Lately, leading universities in Australia have expressed support for the international students affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, announcing that they will offer counseling and other assistance measures to international students.