How Many International Students Study In Australia?

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People want to know the percentage and how many international students study in Australia yearly.


Australia is one of the top destinations for international students.


Various universities and colleges in Australia rank among the top 100 in the world. This has shown an increase in international students in recent years.


Besides the top-notch education, Australia provides a good quality of life, suitable environmental conditions and a higher student income using relaxed work permits for international students.


All of this has made Australia a popular study-abroad destination. Here are a few things every international student should know about Australia:



1. The Number of International Students Studying in Australia


Australia hosts unprecedented numbers of international students yearly who now round up to more than a quarter of enrolments at some universities. 


According to the recent data shared by the Australian Departments and Training, in February 2019, 582,883 students were enrolled on education programs in Australia, which is 9% more than in February 2023. Of these students, 324,261 were enrolled in a higher education course.



2. Educational Fields Chosen by International Students Studying in Australia


Many international students studying in Australia choose higher education fields, followed by VET (Vocational Education and Training), ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students), and the least number apply for schools


February 2019 data revealed by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training shows that as compared to 2018, there has been a 9% increase in enrolments in the higher education sector, a 16% increase in VET, a 1% increase in ELICOS, and a 2% decline in enrolments in schools. It’s important to note that there will be a significant change in the percentage by the end of 2022. 


The number of international student enrolments in February 2023 in different educational sectors:


  • Higher Education - 324,261 (56%)

  • VET - 151,841 (26%)

  • ELICOS - 60,444 (10%)

  • Schools - 20,526 (4%)

  • Non-award - 25,811 (4%)



3. Reasons to Study Abroad 


As per the International Students Employment Outcomes and Satisfaction 2023 research, 81% of students choose to study overseas to improve their career opportunities.


43% get an education abroad to pursue a specific career, and 39% of the students have the chance to live overseas, was the most critical driver to study abroad. 



4. Top Contributors 


According to the Australian Department of Education and Training, China (30%) is the top contributor of international students studying in Australia, followed by India (14%), Nepal (7%), Malaysia (4%), and Vietnam (4%).


These countries account for 58% of enrolments in the Australian education sector. 



5. International Student Enrolments in Different Sectors for the Year 2023


The 2023 annual report by the Australian Department of Education and Training shows that the top two source countries in the higher education sector were China and India, with 38.3% and 18.1% enrolments, respectively. 


India was the most significant contributor in the VET sector, with 12.2% enrolments, followed by China (9.1%), Brazil (8.4%), and Nepal (8%). China accounted for 30.5% of enrolments in ELICOS. The next largest nationality was Brazil (11.6%), and then Colombia (9.4%) and Thailand (5.6%). 


China contributed to the largest number of enrolments in schools at 51.0%. The second largest was Vietnam (13.2%), followed by the Republic of Korea (4.8%).


In the non-award sector, China had maximum enrolments rated at 38.9%. Soon after was the USA (12.9%) and the UK (4.1%). Compared to 2017, enrolments from the UK, USA, and China dropped by 3.5%, 1.2%, and 0.8%, respectively.



Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)
⇒ Types of Education in Australia
⇒ Applying to Study in Australia: Student Timeline
⇒ Driving in Australia as an International Student
⇒ Migrating to Australia
⇒ Australia Compared
⇒ Academic Life

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