Jodi Thomas, General Manager International Health, Allianz Partners
Education is the passport to the future and the future for many overseas students starts here, in Australia.
The number of international students choosing to study in Australia has reached record levels. Figures released from the Department of Education and Training last year reported 673,2961 international students in Australia – an 11 percent1 increase from the previous year. Substantially this makes up a quarter2 of the total number at some Universities, with the growth largely driven by Chinese and Indian students.1
Increasingly though, those from Nepal, Malaysia and Brazil are recognising the opportunities a country like Australia can provide for a prosperous future, making up the final 31 – of the top five countries – that choose to study here. As a leader in the international health line of business, Allianz Global Assistance have also marked an upward trend3 in Chinese and Indian students in the last four years.
What we need to discuss is how growth in overseas immigration – to study – raises an important question about what we’re doing to ensure the safety of students when they arrive – and live – in Australia.
With the nearing start of term imminent for University students, it’s a pertinent topic to discuss, not only for awareness but to ensure students, both overseas and native, feel protected and know how to safeguard themselves.
Encouragingly, a 2018 study4, found that international students do feel safe, choosing Australia over countries like the US out of safety concerns. However – like any country – what we can’t shy away from are the incidents and attacks that do happen. In the face of recent events, the importance of reinforcing and maintaining safety for all students remains of paramount concern.
Ongoing reviews of what Australian policies, institutions and education partners are doing to provide access to robust safety and welfare support services needs to remain top of mind. Ensuring the safety, physical and mental wellbeing of all students is something that must remain a priority, to ensure the safety of our students and greater society.
- 1 Department of Education and Training, International Student Data Summary
- 2 Department of Education, ℅ ABC News, April 2018
- 3 2019 Allianz Global Assistance Owned Data – 2014-2018
- 4 The Pie News