Data released yesterday by the Australia Department of Immigration shows that the number of international students choosing to come to Australia continues to fall.

Australia Visa applications from potential students outside Australia fell 32 per cent in the final six months of last year compared with those of the same period in 2009, which in turn had fallen 22 per cent compared with the same period in 2008.

The global financial crisis, the rising value of the Australian dollar, changes to migration rules and Australia visa processes have been a contributing factor to the decline.

In November, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Chris Evans, led a delegation of university leaders to China, Australia’s largest source of international students, to promote Australia as a study destination.

Overall, visa applications from each of Australia’s five largest client countries – China, India, South Korea, Thailand and Brazil – fell 15 to 29 per cent. Those from Vietnam fell 36 per cent.

In the previous year, 2008-2009, applications from India fell more than 50 per cent and those from Nepal fell 60 per cent.

Thanks to the Visa Bureau who contributed this article.