Vientiane Times
Web Service
About us
Audio/ Video news
Subscribe now !
Online Sub
Online Adv



Home Lao

Experts say that the increase in fees will drive international students to other countries.

Visa fees for international students double, sparking outrage

(ABC) -- The Australian government has more than doubled the cost of student visa fees for international students, prompting outrage from student representatives who say that the price hike will drive potential students to competitors.
From July 1, the international student visa fee has risen to AU$1,600 from AU$710.
The federal government said the additional revenue will help fund initiatives in education including cuts to graduate debt, financial support for apprentices, and the ongoing 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 in a statement.
Yeganeh Soltanpour, the national president of the Council of International Students Australia, slammed the decision, noting the fee increase, combined 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,” Ms Soltanpour said.
“It has caused many in the student community to explore other options and competitive countries,” she added.
Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, told the ABC that the announcement was the “last straw” for the international education sector, which has already suffered from a slowdown in visa approvals.
“We are really in danger of losing a AU$48 billion a year industry,” Mr Honeywood said.
“It will heavily impact on relationships with our Indo-Pacific neighbours who rely on Australia to deliver world-class qualifications to young people.”
He warned that this change could drive prospective students to the United Kingdom, Australia’s closest competitor, which currently charges AU$900 for student visa fees.
The student visa fees are also far more expensive than the US and Canada.
The increase is part of the government’s move to curb net migration which rose to a record 528,000 people in 2022-2023 after COVID restrictions were removed.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the changes will create “a migration system which is fairer, smaller and better able to deliver for Australia,” in a statement.
Senior migration lawyer Sean Dong told the ABC he believed the decision would severely impact the intake number of international students in the next few years.
“The sudden increase in visa application fees indicates that the Australian government is not wel-coming international students.”
Around 440,000 hopeful international students applied for a student visa from July 2023 to May 2024.
“It is not going to be a good solution, it will impact the revenue stream of the universities,” he added.
The visa fee hike follows plans to cap the number of international students.

(Latest Update July 2, 2024)

Newspaper Subscription Prices l Newspaper Advertisement Prices l Online Advertisement Prices l Online Subscription Prices

Vientiane Times Phonpapao Village, Unit 32, Sisattanak District, P.O.Box: 5723 Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: (856-21) 336042, 336043; Fax: (856-21) 336041;
Copyright © 1999 Vientiane Times.