Australia welcomes record number of international students

A record number of international students are currently studying in Australia, new figures show.

Statistics recently released by the country’s Department of Education and Training show that Australian education institutions attracted almost 800,000 overseas enrolments last year. Some 44 per cent or 350,000 were in higher education

There was a 14 per cent increase in applications to the country’s universities in the last six months of 2017, the data shows.

Yet the country’s Education Minister Simon Birmingham believes there is still room to welcome move overseas students to the country. Last week he stressed that the government wants “international student numbers to stay high”.

“The growth potential that is still there in key markets, like China and India … is still quite significant,” he said.

China is already the dominant market for overseas students in Australia. The figures show that there were 232,000 Chinese students in Australia at the end of 2017. This accounts for 28.9 per cent of all international students in Oz last year – a significant increase on 2016 when the figure was 27.5 per cent.

In the higher education sector (which excludes schools, English colleges and vocational colleges) Chinese students are even more dominant. The figures show that Chinese students made up 38.2 per cent of all international students in higher education last year.

Birmingham believes that overseas students provide a large economic boost to Australia, by spending approximately AUS$30.9 billion a year on fees, travel and living costs.

Article published 9th March 2018