AU$ rate sends Asian students to US and Britain

Published:  6 Dec at 6 PM
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Asian students looking to study abroad are rejecting Australian universities in favour of US and British educational institutes due to the strength of the Australian dollar against Asian currencies.

According to HSBC Global Bank’s Graham Heunis, although the Australian lifestyle is particularly attractive to young Asians, they are totally turned off by the poor rate of exchange. The problem has been growing since October 2010, when the AU$ hit parity with the US$ and continued its rise to its present rate of 104 US cents.

Since 2010, Australian immigration officials have noted a 12 per cent drop in student visa applications, with financial experts convinced the cost of living is having a more serious effect on the number of applicants than the recent reports of violent attacks on foreign students. HSBC’s recent survey showed only two per cent of respondents were heading to Australia to study.

In comparison, 10 per cent of Asian students chose the USA or the UK, in spite of the two countries’ troubled economies, with four per cent opting for Canada. Heunis notes that, with Asia’s GDP looking to overtake the combined GDPs of Europe and America within the next 18 years, Australia needs to attract Asia’s brightest and best

.At the present time, Australia still ranks highly amongst expat workers from Asia, with 75 per cent enjoying a better quality of life than in their home countries as against 61 per cent of global expats. Of a total of Asian expats, 44 per cent are moving Westwards to work, with 36 per cent relocating for education and 24 per cent leaving to be with partners or their overseas families.
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