Migrant Numbers Growing as Government's Student Crackdown Begins


The Australian government is preparing for increased scrutiny over its management of the country's population growth as new figures suggest a surge in migrant numbers. Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is expected to reveal an additional 150,000 migrants entering the country, potentially challenging budget forecasts for total migration numbers. Government's Response:

Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil has indicated that the government will begin issuing warning notices to high-risk education providers that have been labeled "visa factories." This move comes amidst efforts to curb population growth and address concerns about the quality of education provided by some institutions.

Challenges and Projections:

The government had initially projected a decrease in total net overseas migration for the 2023-24 financial year, but a significant increase in the September quarter has made it challenging to stay within forecasted numbers. The total population is expected to reach almost 26.8 million, with population growth already at a 40-year high of 2.4 percent.

Criticism and Economic Impact:

The government has faced criticism for its handling of population growth, with accusations of implementing a "big Australia by stealth" policy. However, population growth has been credited with preventing a more significant economic contraction over the past year.

Measures and Impact:

Efforts to reduce population growth include closing the pandemic-event visa, which has already seen 10,000 visa holders leave the country, with another 36,000 visas set to expire in the coming months. Additionally, recent data shows a decline in international student visas, a key contributor to population growth in recent years.

Future Plans and Legislation:

The government is implementing new measures, such as a "genuine student" test and stricter conditions on visitor visas, to reduce migration levels further. These actions are expected to lead to a decline in international student numbers, with high-risk education providers facing potential closure if they fail to improve their operations.

In conclusion, the Australian government's efforts to manage population growth and maintain the integrity of the education sector are ongoing. The implementation of new measures and crackdowns on non-compliant providers are aimed at achieving these goals while ensuring the quality of education and migration processes in the country.


Shane Wright – Senior Economics Correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.