Policy changes hitting study destinations’ appeal – survey

The Voice of the International Student Pulse Survey from IDP Education found that the US has been the “largest beneficiary” of changes in student sentiment.

Among international students who are reconsidering where to study, it is now the most attractive destination, IDP said.

Canada’s federal government recently announced a 360,000 study permit cap for the next two years, as well as changes to post-study work rights at public-private partnership colleges, while Australia’s migration review has led to difficulties for certain students to access visas.

The UK, in turn, has announced changes to dependant rules for postgraduate taught students, in addition to raising NHS surcharge fees.

IDP surveyed more than 2,500 respondents from 67 countries in January 2024.

Simon Emmett, IDP Connect chief executive officer, said the latest survey “has identified that changing policy, regulations and restrictions are impacting the dynamics of student movement, with students open to changing their preferred study location”.

“”As key destinations apply more restrictive measures and barriers to entry for students, the study destination choices will shift accordingly”

As key destinations apply more restrictive measures and barriers to entry for students, the study destination choices will shift accordingly, presenting an opportunity for other destinations,” he noted.

While Australia, Canada and the UK have “been in the spotlight in relation to their policy changes”, the US has benefited as students “begin to look for alternative study options”, Emmett added.

Australia has also announced some changes to its post-study work visa, including lowering the age for temporary graduate visas to 35 from the previous 50.

This latest pulse survey highlights that international students are highly attuned to the ongoing discussions regarding policy changes, and that this is impacting the standing of the top global study destinations at a time when competition between destination countries is at an all-time high,” Emmett said.

Stakeholders have predicted that changes in Canada’s study permit allocation will likely benefit certain provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Those that have previously seen huge demand, including Ontario and British Columbia, are likely to see fewer students in the next couple of years, as Meti Basiri, ApplyBoard CEO, told The PIE this week.

IDP’s research found that the UK has been most impacted by the changing policy environment.

Among the prospective student cohort questioned, 49% said they are reconsidering or unsure of their plans to study there.

For Australia and Canada, numbers are only slightly lower, with 47% and 43%, respectively, saying the same.



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