Australians deserting IT education

Even though a large number of overseas IT students are getting permanent residence in Australia, fewer local students are choosing to enroll for computer courses.

The number of Australian students enrolling for IT courses has hit a 15-year low, according to a study published in the Monash University Centre for Population and Urban Research's People and Places Magazine. The general skilled migration (GSM) was effectively increasing the IT graduate labour supply by nearly 80 per cent at a time when 30 per cent of Australian ICT graduates could not find full-time job. An increasingly large number of Indian students enroll for Australian IT and computer courses and apply for permanent residence after the completion of the mandatory two-year period. Due to a well-publicised opposition to migration of a large number of IT professionals from countries like India, the Australian Immigration department had taken out IT-related occupations out of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). But now some of these occupations have been again included in the list which represents skill shortage in Australia. Experts have also expressed views that a number of Australian universities would go bankrupt if the lucrative revenue stream from overseas IT students is turned off. Overseas students pay much higher tuition fees than their Australian counterparts.