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The Evolving Landscape of Studying and Working in Australia for International Students
The Evolving Landscape of Studying and Working in Australia for International Students

The Evolving Landscape of Studying and Working in Australia for International Students

Let us analyse the current environment for international students seeking to study and work in Australia. While Australia offers a unique work authorisation for international students, recent changes in visa restrictions and a significant rise in the cost of living necessitate reevaluating its affordability.

International students have traditionally viewed Australia as an attractive destination due to its combination of high-quality education and flexible work options. However, recent developments require a more realistic perspective. The Department of Home Affairs has implemented stricter visa limitations, restricting students’ work hours to 48 hours per fortnight. This policy prioritises academic focus, ensuring students dedicate sufficient time to their studies and meet genuine student requirements.

Australia’s workplace regulations are advantageous for international students. Unlike in some countries, students can work on and off campus. Furthermore, the Fair Work Act mandates equal pay regardless of nationality, guaranteeing international students receive the current minimum wage of AUD $24.10 per hour plus on-costs.

Despite these advantages, a substantial increase in the cost of living presents a significant challenge for international students. realestate.com.au reports a 14% increase in median unit rent prices in Sydney, reaching a staggering $950 per week.  Coupled with rising utility costs and essential expenses like food and transportation, a student earning the maximum allowable working hours, approximately $535 net pay per week, would likely struggle to cover all expenses. Considering tuition fees often exceed AUD 1,000 per week, the current financial landscape raises serious affordability concerns for international students.

While Australia offers a unique work-study opportunity for international students, recent visa limitations and the continued rising cost of living needs a rethink of student affordability.  Our next article will share and explore alternative pathways for developing desirable workplace-based skills, certification and competency for Australia jobs with reduced cost, flexibility and easily accessible leading to a lucrative career pathway.

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Dr. Roy is the Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer and holds responsibility for the overall strategic management & leadership in achieving the graduate schools’ vision & goals. His own belief for lifelong learning, as well as his drive for business management excellence, has brought him to achieving his passion for being part of the postgraduate education sector in Malaysia.

Dr Roy Prasad

(Hon Professor) FInstAM 

DBA (CH), DBA (DK),
MHRM (MY), Grad Mgt (AU)

Group Managing Director &
Chief Executive Officer

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