Latest data on the number of international students in Australian higher education shows the sector continues to recover but there is more work to do.
International education was kneecapped by COVID. It’s coming back.
We’ve broken the back of the visa backlog. In May last year, it was taking 40 days for offshore student visas to be processed. Now it takes an average of 14 days.
The data shows that in the year to November 2022:
- 148,174 international students commenced higher education provided by Australian universities - a 38 per cent increase on the same time period in 2021
- Indian students have been returning at a faster rate than many other countries with 160 per cent more Indian students in Australian higher education today than there were at the end of 2021
- The top 5 countries of origin for international students are:
- China – 47,428 students (11.3 per cent fewer than the same time in 2021)
- India – 29,436 students (160 per cent more than the same time in 2021)
- Nepal – 17,954 students (169 per cent more than the same time in 2021)
- Vietnam – 5,949 students (50 per cent more than the same time in 2021)
- Indonesia – 3,832 students (20 per cent more than the same time in 2021).
This data was collated prior to the Chinese Government’s announcement that Chinese students should return to onshore study.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:
“International education is a critical Australian asset. It is the biggest export we don’t dig or drill out of the ground. It was kneecapped by Covid. A $40 billion industry was cut in half.
“It also didn’t help that the last government told international students to go home.
“We are rebuilding our international education sector. We have broken the back of the visa backlog. We have also announced an extension of work rights for students who get degrees in areas where we have a skills shortage and students are coming back.
“This is good news, but there is still a lot more work to do.”