Australia welcomes increasing number of international students

Australia has been welcoming unprecedented numbers of international students in 2015, new statistics show.

The stats show that almost 230,000 student visas were granted in 2014-15 – a 2.6 per cent increase on the previous year.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said it was the fifth successive year of growth in student visa applications.

“This growth is a great outcome for Australia given the importance of international students to the Australian economy,” Minister Dutton said.

Mr Dutton said the introduction of a new international student visa framework from next year will build even further on the growth.

“It will enhance both our competitiveness in the international education market and improve integrity in visa processing,” he said.

The Minister for Tourism and International Education Senator Richard Colbeck also welcomed the new data which demonstrates Australia’s ongoing success in the very competitive global education market.

“International education was worth over AUS$18 billion to the Australian economy in 2014-15, making it our fourth largest export earner by value and a major job creator,” Senator Colbeck said. “International students make a welcome contribution to the cultural richness of our education institutions and the wider Australian community.”

Both Ministers acknowledged the Australian Government’s commitment to enhancing Australia’s global reputation for delivering a high quality study and living experience. Australia’s first national strategy for international education is being developed to provide a ten-year outlook for strengthening the sector further.

“The strategy puts student experience at the heart of all our efforts, to ensure our international education sector is adaptive, innovative and globally engaged, and highly attractive to modern learners,” Senator Colbeck said.

Of the total student visas granted in 2014-15, 21.9 per cent were granted to Chinese students while grants to students from India also remained high and the number of grants to students from South Korea, Brazil and Thailand also increased from previous years.