A crackdown on international student visa rorters from India and Nepal has hit higher education provider Navitas.
The Perth-based company says enrolment growth has been flat in Australia in the 12 months to June 30 due to a number of challenges.
A key factor is tougher university and Department of Immigration and Border Protection assessments of applicants from Nepal and India, both considered high risk markets for visa rorts, the group’s chief executive Rod Jones says.
“We initially had significant enrolments from countries like Nepal and India,” Mr Jones said.
“However, we made a deliberate decision four months ago to reduce those enrolments because we saw lot of the students were not genuine in that they were interested in migration rather than education.”
He said India, alongside China and Vietnam, continues to be one of its biggest markets.
Macquarie University’s decision to end its contracts with Navitas earlier this year was also having an impact, with the full financial impact expected to hit in 2016.
Excluding Macquarie University operations, total enrolments for the group’s Australian colleges grew by two per cent.
Enrolments at its UK colleges fell 13 per cent due to recent changes to student visa policies, while enrolment rose 18 and 17 per cent at its US and Canadian colleges, respectively.
Navitas has lifted its full year net profit by 39 per cent to $71.8 million in the 2015 financial year, however it has flagged flat earnings for 2015/16.
Its share price was down more than six per cent, or 29 cents, at $4.27 at 1325 AEST.
Clampdown on visa rorts dents Navitas results:
*Profit $71.8m, up 39pct, from $51.6 million a year ago
*Revenue $980.3 million, up 12 pct, from $878.2 million
*Fully franked dividend of 19.5 cents, unchanged.