student finances in 2012 - A study of the financial circumstances of domestic and international students in Australia’s universities
9. The financial circumstances of International students
The inclusion of international students in the Universities Australia Student Finances Survey for the first time in 2012 helps to provide a more comprehensive view of the circumstances of the full range of students in Australian universities. A caveat, however: we report on international students and their views and experiences of education in Australia as a single cohort, for our focus is at the national (Australian) level. In reality of course, international students are not an homogenous group. Students’ financial experiences of study in Australia are dependent upon on their country of origin (Table 9.1), the source of their funding for study (for example, whether their scholarships or other support are in home country currency or Australian based) and the rates of exchange between their home country and Australia, quite apart from their familial or personal financial wellbeing. That said, some overall conclusions can be drawn:
- International undergraduates have slightly higher incomes than their domestic counterparts. The mean annual income for international undergraduates is some five per cent higher than that of domestic undergraduates. Postgraduate coursework students’ and higher degree research students’ reported mean annual income, however, is lower than that of domestic students – by 11.4 per cent in the case of postgraduate course students, and 14.6 per cent in the case of research students;
- Students from developing countries with fluctuating currencies or countries that have unfavourable exchange rates with the Australian dollar have been adversely affected by the increased value of the Australian dollar;
- International students feel their financial circumstances are constrained by visa regulations which limit the number of hours they may work (and thus any supplementary income they may earn) during the academic year. Students also express some frustration that (in some states at least)...
Download the Report: University student finances in 2012.