Australia's growth trajectory continues

19, March, 2015

As Australia’s international education growth continues to grow in 2015, newly released data from government body Australian Education International (AEI) highlights sector and nationality trends for the previous year and shows the top 10 source countries constituted two thirds of international students.

Enrolments by top ten nationalities and sector in Australia in 2014. Source - Australian Education International

The new AEI research reconciles the monthly enrolment and commencement data during 2014 to produce a full-year total of 453,532 international students in Australia, a 10.4 per cent increase over the previous year.

The figure eliminates double counting of students that enrolled on two courses within one year, meaning that 56,869 students transitioned from one programme in Australia to another during 2014.

Students from China were the largest cohort, with 121,318 students representing 26.7 per cent of all international students, followed by India (10.2 per cent) and Vietnam (4.8 per cent). The top ten countries accounted for 65.7 per cent of the total.

Higher education was the largest international education segment with 46.3 per cent share of international students, and seven of the top 10 source countries had more students in this sector than any other. The exceptions were Korea (38 per cent in VET); Thailand (45.9 per cent in Elicos); and Brazil (52.4 per cent in Elicos).

A slight gender imbalance was recorded in 2014, as 52.9 per cent of international students were male. The 20-to-24 group was the most common age range, accounting for 198,090 students, followed by the 25-to-29 group with 125,682 students.

Another research snapshot paper released by AEI shows the divergence of international student enrolments in 2014 by study level. Students from Malaysia were the most likely to be pursuing undergraduate degree programmes, with 50.5 per cent in this sector. Contrastingly, Indian students had a relatively low take up of undergraduate programmes (12.5) and were more heavily concentrated in ‘postgraduate other’ (non-research) with 27.7 per cent and diploma/advanced diploma level in the VET sector (27.8 per cent).

For each of the top ten nationalities, management and commerce was the most popular study field at both higher education and VET levels.

Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has released student visa grant data for the second quarter of the 2014/15 programme year (October 2014-to-December 2014), showing total visas granted at an all-time high. Visa applications grew by seven per cent, while visas granted increased by eight per cent, representing a slowing growth rate compared with the previous year.

AEI has also issued the first monthly international student data update of 2015, showing enrolment growth of 10.4 per cent and a commencement increase of 15.4 per cent, compared with January 2014, with rises across all segments of the international education industry.

The non-award segment, which includes study exchange and foundation programmes, had the highest growth rates at 32.4 per cent (enrolments) and 27.8 per cent (commencements), while the VET sector continued its recovery with a 21.5 per cent jump in commencements.




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