Australian universities a draw for overseas students

New figures show that close to 600,000 foreigners are studying in Australian universities, colleges and schools in 2019, a 12 per cent rise on the previous year.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that 56 per cent of Australia’s overseas students are enrolled in higher education courses, 25 per cent in vocational education colleges and 19 per cent in English language colleges and schools.

Almost a third of the country’s overseas students hail from China and 15 per cent from India. Other Asian nations sending significant numbers include Nepal, Vietnam and Malaysia. Although these top five countries provide 59 per cent of all foreign enrolments, the remainder are drawn from almost 190 other nations, including Britain, Europe and North America.

“Not only does international education boost domestic travel, goods and services across our economy, but these students strengthen our links with our region and the world,” said Catriona Jackson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia. “Australians understand the value of this contribution, both economically and to our long-lasting cultural and diplomatic ties.”

Jackson says that international student satisfaction is high, with nearly nine in 10 saying they were happy with the quality of education and the lifestyle on offer in the country.

“International students can go anywhere in the world to study,” she explained. “They choose Australia because of our strong track record of a world-class education and a safe and welcoming environment.”

Spending by overseas students – on tourism, food, travel and housing – boosted Australia’s economy to the tune of AUS$35 billion last year. All Australian states and territories experienced an increase in spending by international students last year.

Article published 24th June 2019