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Australian International Education Outlook January 2011 SWOT Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities & Threats Central Eastern Europe, U.K. & Turkey

Australian International Education Outlook January 2011 SWOT Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities & Threats Central Eastern Europe, U.K. & Turkey

Strengths:

– According to 2010 DEEWR AEI Australian Education International Student Survey all is fine in Australian international education…….so that’s alright then…..
– Part time employment opportunities in Melbourne and Perth…
– Universities (preparation pathways) given advantages through “Higher Education” visa assssement changes, accounting remaining on SOL (for now, huge surprlus of international accounting graduates emerging) and more migration assessment points for degrees.

Weaknesses: Many…..

-Increasing strength of Australian dollar thus cost of total required study budget to increase by up to 100%!!
-Lack of understanding or knowledge in industry regarding sustainable (online) marketing strategies whereby majority of marketing funds still directed toward expensive offshore physical events neglecting remainder of the year.
-Offshore partner digital marketing efforts not recognised onshore when direct applicants are not asked how they found institutuon, virtual presence assessed nor website traffic analysed.
-Lack of marketing analysis e.g. AEI and EA English Australia Survey of Regional ELICOS Markets 2009 2010 reporting on drivers of study choice i.e. “why”, but did not ask “how” students found information i.e. (effective) marketing channels?
-Lack of leadership and vision from Australian governments (and opposition). No understanding of impact rushed decisions are causing, appealing to short term (media cycle), perceptions, prejudices and misinformation in the media and electorate, constantly changing policy sending message to Asia and elsewhere that foreign visitors nor immigrants are welcome.

Opportunities:

-Like large Australian retailers and media are finding, inevitability that physical sales and/or marketing channels are being overtaken by more effective internet or digital marketing and sales.
-Digital marketing exemplified by student blogs/feedback, SEO search engine optimised websites, relevant languages, Google Adwords and social media based e.g. Facebook advertising allow economic, relevant and direct access to offshore markets from desktop onshore.
-New agent marketing and quality grouping in Europe, includes Central & Eastern Europe.
-Middle Eastern Airlines flying direct from more European cities, and Turkey, and accordingly promoting their Australian destinations e.g. Qatar Airways, Etihad/Virgin Blue and Emirates (versus BA/QANTAS London/Frankfurt).
-Offshore programs, twinning,project cooperation etc. to meet growing demand, if effectively researched, established and managed according to local business conditions and demand.

Threats:

-Visa officers being incredibly strict, complaints in Central Europe (and elsehwere) that many AL1 candidate being assessed as AL3 i.e. asked for interviews and income streams, plus tougher AL2-3 visa assessment. High AUD and living cost requirements mean e.g. financial budget for Hungarians to study 6 months has increased by 75%, and on average 35-50% elsewhere
-Continued weakness in European economies, employed mature candidates will not risk taking leave, potential PR pathways closed, and perception visas difficult.
-Mooted plans or rumours to preclude onshore agents from receiving commission, will close sales channels, including IDP?
-According to EA unattractiveness of study in Australia increased from 9% 2008 to 15% 2009, to ? in 2010 and 2011? Plus, global financial situation – impact on key markets, strong Aus$ – impact on price-competitiveness, college closures – loss of market confidence, negative media – Australia “unsafe”, Senate inquiry / Baird review / COAG taskforce, government consideration of agent regulation, tightening of student visa program, skilled migration program changes, promotion of international education shifted to Austrade, increased competitor country activity (and more economic).
-According to Language Travel Magazine (Hothouse Media UK) Australian English Study Survey: cost & availability of flights – long distance, cost (tuition/living/visa), student visa (process/English/finances/processing time), too many students from the same country, afraid of college closures, Australian accent, changes to skilled migration program.

For more information Andrew Smith AIEC QUEST Australian International Education Centre.

Related Australian International Education News:

Sector braces for a fall. THE international education sector is braced for its more pessimistic forecasts being realised after projections of a dramatic drop in student arrivals.

TAFEs suffering from VET visa curbs. THE TAFE sector has criticised the federal government’s easing of visa risk assessment levels for overseas students.

 

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