Saturday, November 13, 2004

IDP - Informative & Dependable Practioners

The University selection process is generally considered to be the most important aspect of the MBA. The Australian Universities were totally unknown to me before the start of this process. This is when I visited IDP India.

IDP is a non-profit organisation started by the Australian Universities to help internation students join the universities. It is present in many countries all over the world and provides its educational consultancy services free of cost. Yes, you heard it right, FREE. You can also take the IELTS tests at IDP.

Unlike agents who charge students for their services, all IDP services are free as IDP is owned by the universities themselves.

The following services are offered free of cost :

  • Information: On courses and institutions of Australia
  • Counselling: Individual counselling to students and their parents

  • Applications: Assistance in the preparation and submission of applications

  • Forms: Application forms for any course and institute are available free of cost from IDP
  • Application Submissions: Your applications will be submitted to universities directly by IDP, thereby saving time and cost for the applicant.
  • Visa Submissions: Assistance in the preparation and submission of Visa applications. An application through IDP reduces the chances of your visa application being rejected.
  • Pre departure Seminars
  • Accomodation: Arrangement of accommodation and airport pickup in Australia

When I first heard about it I was very impressed. It was a masterstroke in Marketing by the Aussie Univ's. Thing for second. Australia invests billions of dollars in higher education every year for the benefit of their own economy. At the same time the revenue earned by the way of domestic students will not be enough to pay back the entire sum. There are many benefits for internation students in Australai. It is a English speaking country and the govt. maintains very high standards of education. (For more check out my post on Why Australia?). How does it recoup the money spent?

Look at where the international students go mainly- the
US and the UK. One of the major sources of revenue for the US and UK universities are 'international students'. They are well established and well known in the whole world for the quality of their education. The other important fact is that most of these students use education as a way of entering the country. The first step in many if you want to immigrate.

Lets look at some of the numbers from Open Doors 2003, an annual publication which reports on the international students scenario in the

India is the leading place of origin for international students (74,603, up 12%), followed by #2 China (64,757, up 2%), #3 Korea (51,519, up 5%), #4 Japan (45,960, down 2%), #5 Taiwan (28,017, down 3%), #6 Canada (26,513, unchanged), #7 Mexico (12,801, up 2%), #8 Turkey (11,601, down 4%), #9 Indonesia (10,432, down 10%), #10 Thailand (9,982, down 14%), #11 Germany (9,302, down 3%), #12 Brazil (8,388, down 7%), #13 UK (8,326, down 1%), #14 Pakistan (8,123, down 6%), and #15 Hong Kong (8,076, up 4%).

Asian students comprise over half (51%) of all international enrollments, followed by students from Europe (13%), Latin America (12%), Africa (7%), the Middle East (6%), North America and Oceania (5%).

The most popular fields of study for international students in the
U.S. are business and management (20%) and engineering (17%).

Funds from home: International students contribute nearly $12 billion dollars to the
U.S. economy, through their expenditure on tuition and living expenses. Department of Commerce data describe U.S. higher education as the country's fifth largest service sector export.

Open Doors 2004, reports similar statistics except that for the first time since 1971/72 the number of international students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions decreased by 2.4% in 2003/04 to a total of 572,509. It also says that,

The overall decline in international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities has been attributed to a variety of reasons, including real and perceived difficulties in obtaining student visas (especially in scientific and technical fields), rising U.S. tuition costs, vigorous recruitment activities by other English-speaking nations, and perceptions abroad that international students may no longer be welcome in the U.S.

There has been similar increase of numbers in the Uk too.

BBC reports :

There has been a big increase in the number of students taking post-graduate courses in the UK.

In the past seven years, there has been a 20% increase in the number of post-graduate students, taking the number to 500,000 today.

Numbers have risen fastest in the new universities, a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute suggests.

More than a million students visit the
US and the UK every year and generate $12 billion dollars for the US while also being the fifth largest service export for that country. Another fact relevant to this discussion is that 51% of the students are from Asia.

The five
main English-speaking destination countries – the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Australia's strength's lies in its proximity to Asia and also its positioning in the last 5-7 years as a 'affordable' destination. Australia has lesser recognition than the US and the UK in terms of visibility for parents and students and also basic information about the education and visa process.

For example : In
India we can find a lot of people who have studied in the US or the UK and get first hand information about the same from them. This is not the case for Australia, New Zealand or Canada.

The IDP Education Australia solves this problem by being able to provide excelent un-biased services free of cost. This makes it easier for students/parents to approach the organisation and ultimately select
Australia as their favoured destination for education.

Australia has recognised these opportunities and they have been fairl successful in their goal.

The following statistics speak for itself.

Australia's Exports of Education Services

For the financial year 2003/04, the total value of Australia ’s education exports was $5.622 billion. This incorporates the value of education provided to international students in Australia , plus the expenditure of those students while they are in Australia . It does not include the value of education provided to a student through distance education.

For the 2003/04 financial year, the value of Education Services has grown 14.8% from 2002/03, compared with 18.3% growth in the previous year. This corresponds to an increase of $726 million.

Education Services and non-monetary gold are the only commodities in the top 10 to experience growth in consecutive financial years.

Education Visa growth

In 2003, there were 110,504 student visas issued offshore for study in Australia

The top 10 citizenships for visas issued offshore in 2003 were:













South Korea
















Hong Kong
















Total All Countries




The total enrolment of international students at Australian universities in Semester 1, 2004 is estimated at 192,460. This represents an increase of 10.2% from the 174,584 students in Semester 2, 2003 and the same percentage increase over the 174,676 students in Semester 1, 2003.

The number of onshore international students as a proportion of the total student population in Australian universities compared to the total onshore student population was estimated at 16.3%. This is up from 14.4% in Semester 1, 2003.

The comparitive cost of living (PDF) has been incresing in
Australia and now it stands second within the five main english-speaking destinations. For the Full Time MBA the total costs are still the lowest within the group.

IDP has proved itself as a effective and professional organisation.

Note : What started as small note on IDP has transformed into the analysis of the export of education services. I do think this note will be helpful to prospective students.


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