Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson says it will take a while for the nation’s university sector to recover from the “dramatic drop” in international students.

“If you look at the bald figures, the commencements have gone down by 40 per cent – that is a dramatic drop,” Ms Jackson told Sky News Australia.

“So that’s first in, first year students down by 40 per cent.”

She said this will take a while to recover from and hopes the figures can go back to normal over the coming years.

“We genuinely hope that recovers over the next few years but that will mean there are revenue issues for the sector for the next few years,” she said.

“As we’ve lost first years – you lose first years, you haven’t got them in second year, third year, fourth year.

“So there’s a nasty tale here for the university sector.”

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