Visa rules to help wounded education sector
CQUNIVERSITY Vice Chancellor Nick Klomp said today he was “very pleased to hear” about recent visa changes as the loss of international students had taken “a big chunk” out of the university’s wallet.
On Monday, the Federal Government announced it would recommence granting student visas and would make it easier for students to get work visas after studying.
It said international students contributed $40 billion to the economy and helped sustain 250,000 jobs annually.
At the time, Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge said the changes would help the country’s education sector, “our fourth largest export”, to recover lost revenue.
Today, Mr Klomp said that the virus had made “an incredible dent” in the education business.
“Any company can’t deal with losing a quarter of its income overnight,” he said.
Mr Klomp said most of the students enrolled at campuses in capital cities.
He said the university’s business model was based on having 8000 international students, a “few hundred here in Rockhampton”.
The university therefore took $50 million a year from its budget by closing its Yeppoon, Biloela, and in December, its Noosa campuses.
The vast majority of staff cuts involved were voluntary separations, Mr Klomp said.
He said the university had to offer a “great product” to once again attract people to its classrooms.
“Clearly things have changed,” Mr Klomp said.
“It will probably take a bit of time for that market to come back.
“We have got to be thinking about a curriculum that looks over the horizon.”
All classes at the university have begun, but are digital where possible.