Australia Central Eastern Europe Turkey International Education Market SWOT
- AUD falling, SVP Streamlined Visa Processing for university higher education and approved pathways.
- Property prices and rents continue to stagnate, while Melbourne and Brisbane have highest vacancy rates e.g. Southbank Melbourne 10%.
- Opposition Education Minister has said that they would expand Streamlined Visa Processing and post graduate work rights beyond university to private vocational etc..
- New (very slightly different) Labor government has signalled it’s intentions on xenophobia with the PNG solution, and massive fee hike for second student visa onshore.
- Latest visa fee hike maybe linked to Labor’s pledge to reduce “net overseas migration” (NOM) where students are the most significant component, but are described by media and Dr. Bob Birrell as “immigrants”. Meanwhile the UK govt. is doing something i.e. Business Secretary Vince Cable trying to explain that NOM is a “statistical anomaly” which includes temps such as students and is used to fuel “torrid and emotional debates” on immigration and population: Business Secretary Cable Criticizes Immigration Population Politics
- While it can be explained in Australian as merely politics, or the “poisonous politics of population”, there is no +ve industry coverage in mainstream media of immigration, international education etc.? One example from Australian media in this blog: Australia Benefits from Immigration
- Softening of employment market and general economy.
- No SVP for ELICOS, VET and HE private institutions that are preferred by many students as they have smaller classes, flexible fee payment plans and start dates.
- No explanation or communication of how the GTE will be assessed, what indicators -ve/+ve or otherwise, let alone who will be accountable (in EU it’s the institution on point system).
- AL1 being treated as AL2, AL2 being treated like AL3 etc. etc.; while nowadays in Central Europe it appears majority of candidates are now routinely interviewed or asked for more information (as Visa Officers are probably concerned i.e. “covering backsides” from politicians).
- Strict application of the GTE may impact Turkey further as the ‘environment’ has changed a little negatively after riots (and many other countries too, especially for Iranian nationals).
- DIAC Ankara stated that Turkey was, till few years ago, becoming a top 10 market for ELICOS (explained as a problem?)….. then informal policy change, ELICOS rejections increased to 40%, under threat of going down to AL4, now it’s VET (AL2) gaming of pathway to study English (AL3), approaching 40% rejections.
- Many candidates placed blind by official (reaching targets?) and unofficial (who are paid up front by candidate) agents and/or candidates have no background in course area chosen. For example, too many don’t seem to know why they want to study in Australia, but to be fair, many young people simply have not received good career counselling whether from their institution, education agent or family.
- Links and cooperation with institutions in both Europe and Turkey, massive cohort of mobile students within networks of institutions under both EU mobility plus mix of European and international fee paying.
- Regional Turkey where significant middle classes have emerged, along with growth in private high schools, VET and higher education (50+ private universities).
- Turkey is mooting a new law to make the private Dersane system, which coaches high school students for the university entrance exam, illegal. This includes small schools to large chains with branches throughout Turkey (one is part owned by US Carlyle Group), and justification maybe to even up the playing field for those who cannot afford fees (or give university preparation centres in state and private universities an advantage)?
- While conventional promotional and recruitment channels, e.g. fairs, events, etc., become less effective, digital marketing and communication channel management is less than optimal.
- European institutions are surprised at how inbound digital marketing (vs online promotion of attendance at ‘events’) is not taken on board by Australian marketing bodies and institutions, i.e. it’s made for the ‘tyranny of distance’ but not understood by senior management, in most industries e.g. newspaper media: Australian Management Failing the Digital Test
- The British Council recommends digital in Turkey, versus plethora of expensive public education fairs whose reach is grossly exaggerated by (agent) owners, as are study abroad numbers.
- Anti population and anti immigration advocacy of bigots in Anglo world (but seeded in US) whose views and distorted data are accepted at face value by mainstream media and politicians.
- These views are propagated by network of seemingly unrelated groups or advocates in Australia, i.e. Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) whose Patron is Foreign Minister Bob Carr, Stable Population Party (SPP), Dr. Bob Birrell, Senator Cory Bernardi, MP Kelvin Thompson, Dick Smith (whose views are based upon a book by poet and prospective Senator Mark O’Connor of SPA/SPP) and all are linked to “John Tanton’s Network” in the USA, described as the “racist architect of the modern anti immigration movement” and “admirer of the white Australia policy”.
- Much, but not all, of Europe has suffered economic recession and now it appears Turkey’s growth rate has slowed significantly and unemployment up.
- Turkey increasing state and private HE supply, while YOK (Higher Education Authority) can obstruct accreditation of foreign universities when students transfer credit and/or need approval from YOK on their study abroad program, to defer military service..
- Turkish and all Central Eastern European institutions, after being in Erasmus and ECTS, are endeavouring to attract many more fee paying international students, good quality study, low fees, economic cost of living and excess capacity (and in future more immigration options in Europe).
- Tendency of many candidates in Turkey to avoid agents (but use websites) then enquire/apply direct, estimated 90% for university and 50% for English courses in US/UK. Concern that processes for direct enquiries and/or applications are not linked to overall marketing strategy? How many candidates “fall between the cracks” and give up?