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Aus: transaction fees worry int’l students

Education providers must do more to alleviate the stress of transaction fees and increase their provision of payment plans for international students, new research by Australian-based edtech company Cohort Go has revealed.

Half of Australia’s international students are concerned by high transaction fees. Photo: Michael Longmire/UnsplashHalf of Australia’s international students are concerned by high transaction fees. Photo: Michael Longmire/Unsplash

42% also wanted more flexible payment plans for their tuition fees

The Aussie Study Experience report, which surveyed almost 700 international students in Australia, found 49% of respondents believed education providers should provide new payment options to reduce transaction fees.

“Providers who differentiate themselves will be more likely to attract… students”

“Australia’s prosperity is directly linked to international education, which is why it’s vital the international education sector continues to innovate and look to improve the student experience of students studying here, said Cohort Go chief executive and co-founder Mark Fletcher.

“Transaction fees imposed on money transfers have been a frustrating bidder cost of paying for international education. Students are calling for education providers to adopt alternative payment options which impose little or no fees on their students, such as fee-free global payment gateways.”

Speaking with The PIE News, Fletcher added many banks typically charged between 3-6% in foreign exchange margins and fees, which saw some students paying up to an additional $30,000 for their education.

“Anything the international education sector can do in order to reduce the costs of fees would be well received by students and their parents,” Fletcher added.

According to the survey, 42% of students also wanted more flexible payment plans for their tuition fees.

“While managing payment plans is very complex, there are solutions in the market that can significantly simplify the receipting and reconciliation of these payments,” Fletcher said.

“In an increasingly competitive industry, education providers who differentiate themselves and enhance the student experience will be more likely to attract a growing cohort of students.”

In terms of who bore the costs of education, Cohort Go’s survey found 37% of courses were paid for by parents, while 25% were paid through internet banking and 15% on credit card.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Education, Australia’s year to October 2019 figures continued surpassing whole of 2018 numbers, with over 738,000 international students.

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