Australia international student numbers continue to rise

Australia international student numbers continue to rise

Australia has announced an increase of 11% in the number of international student numbers as of September 2019 when compared to the same month last year.

With 720,150 international students currently enrolled across various sectors, Australia’s position has been reconfirmed as the second-most popular destination in the world, after only the US.

This growth is a continuation of the trend of rise in international student numbers in Australia, as reported by ICEF Monitor.

Speaking to Global Education Times, Craig Riggs, Editor of ICEF Monitor, said: “There are a number of factors that account for Australia’s continuing popularity with international students, including the quality of education, a progressive post-study work offer, qualify of life/lifestyle factors, and relative proximity to key Asian sending markets.

“These factors reliably appear in student surveys regarding destination attractiveness.

“Many of these points were also reflected in the responses we had from education agents in this year’s ICEF i-graduate Agent Barometer survey, but those respondents also highlighted the Australian student visa process as an important factor.

“Nearly six in ten (59%) of those agents reporting an increased interest in Australia this year attributed that growing demand to the country’s student visa system.”

In 2018, the figures grew by 11.4% and in 2017, by 12.6%, making 2019 the third year of a major increase in the international student population.

The sectors with the highest areas of growth are: higher education and vocational (VET), contributing 12% and 17% year-over-year increases respectively; ELICOS (English-language training) increased slightly (3%) and there were minor decreases registered for schools (-4%) and non-award programmes (-4%).

China continues to dominate Australia international student enrolments

Five countries compose more than half of all international student numbers enrolments in the country: China (28%), India (15%), Nepal (7%), Brazil (4%) and Vietnam (3.5%).

Despite this, the flow of Chinese students into Australia is slowing, with only a modest 5% increase in numbers from September 2018 to September 2019. By contrast, India contributed 33% more students and Nepal 31% more. Vietnamese and Brazilian figures also rose, by 7% and 4% respectively.

Riggs added: “Going forward, we would expect continued growth for Australia for the foreseeable future, particularly as it has shown strong indications of an increasing focus on promoting the quality of the student experience. We see evidence of this in expanded accountability and quality control measures, increasing diversification efforts, and ongoing work to further strengthen student support services.”

VET providers have seen an increase in Indian (up 45%) and Nepalese (up 64%) students this year.

The Chinese market for Australian VET also grew by 11.5% this year, while the Korean market fell by 6.5% so far in 2019.

Australia is becoming an increasingly attractive study destination, particularly with up to two years more post-study work for international graduates in regional Australia coming into effect this month.

Pic: Dan Freeman

Kate Frazer - Global Education Times (GET News)

Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
You can reach her at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *