Australia Doubles Student Visa Fees: Impact on Indian Students

Australia Doubles Student Visa Fees: Impact on Indian Students

The increase in visa fees will significantly affect Indian students, who make up the second largest group of international students in Australia.

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Australia has more than doubled the cost of student visa fees for international students, increasing from $710 to $1,600. This change, effective from July 1, will impact many Indian students planning to study in Australia, ABC News reported on Monday.

The federal government stated that the additional revenue would be used to support educational initiatives, including reducing graduate debt, providing financial assistance to apprentices, and continuing the implementation of its migration strategy. “International education is an incredibly important national asset and we need to ensure its integrity and quality,” said Minister for Education Jason Clare.

As of August 2023, approximately 120,277 Indian students are enrolled in Australian institutions, making them the second largest group of foreign students in the country, according to the Indian High Commission in Canberra.

However, the fee hike has sparked outrage among student representatives. Yeganeh Soltanpour, national president of the Council of International Students Australia, criticized the decision. She noted that the fee increase, along with high deposit costs, places extra strain on international students. “The possibility of spending all that money only to face rejection is quite disheartening for many students. It has caused many in the student community to explore other options and competitive countries,” she said.

Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, expressed concern that this change could be detrimental to the international education sector. “We are really in danger of losing a USD 48 billion a year industry,” he said, adding that it will “heavily impact” relationships with Indo-Pacific countries that rely on Australia for world-class qualifications.  Honeywood warned that this fee increase might drive prospective students to the United Kingdom, which charges $900 for student visa fees, making it a strong competitor to Australia.