He said his institute had seen a “small increase” in applications for the next session in July, and he hopes the sector will be back to normal by the end of the year.
In Australia, education plays a vital role in immigration.
Amarjeet Kumar Singh/SOPA Image
According to DESE, there were 440,129 international students enrolled year-to-date in March 2022, down 15% from the same period in 2021.
Mr Sekhon said international students are coming back, but recovery is at a very slow pace.
“If we compare it to other countries, for example Canada, international student enrollment in Canada has recovered very quickly, even breaking the previous record set in 2019,” he said.
“The government must tackle the longer wait times for visas to help the education sector,” he added.
Ravi Lochan Singh, president of the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India (AAERI), told SBS Punjabi that the first intake of 2022 mainly includes students who already had visas, studied online and were not unable to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“There were also students who had received visas for admission from February to March. However, the increase in visa filings from January 2022 saw processing times increase significantly, and some students had to wait three months for a student visa.
“AAERI was informed by Home Affairs in April 2022 that the average processing time was around 10 weeks at that time. These are the reasons why some students had to postpone their admission to July 2022” , Mr. Singh said.
“Australia’s international student sector is definitely recovering”
The AEERI President said that despite the massive impact of the pandemic on the international student population, the sector is slowly preparing for a comeback.
“The visa processing time has already gone down,” he said.
We expect the July 2022 intake to see a very good number of students from South Asia.
“I also expect that by 2023 the number of Indian students in Australia will return to pre-pandemic levels.
“Australia’s new post-study work arrangements are quite attractive and probably the best of any educational destination, which will make students opt for Australia,” he added.
In Australia, education plays a vital role in immigration. Currently, the Australian government has relaxed student visa work limits due to pandemic-induced labor shortages.
Akshay Kumar, a new international student who arrived on May 25, told SBS Punjabi, “The pandemic has stopped my plans, but I am here to continue my education and learn new skills.
“I am drawn to Australia’s quality of life, good education system and multiculturalism, among other factors,” he said.