Records of international students studying in Australia reaches peak in 2016, and the number continues to grow in 2017



The figures display that there were over half a million overseas students choose to study in Australia last year.

The figures from Department of Education and Training shows that there were 712,884 international students enrolled in the courses of higher education, ELICOS, vocational education, school education and non-award.


Compare to ten years ago, the number of international students almost doubled in 2016. As reported that higher education accounts for the largest proportion of overseas students in Australia which is 43 percent.

Nationalities in the top ten countries – China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea (Republic of South), Brazil, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia and Hong Kong. It is found that most of the international students come from Asian.unnamed (1)

The largest number is from China. 156,961 international students came from China and the number shares 28.3% of all Australia’s international students in 2016. From January to February in 2017, there has been 136,530 Chinese students who has already enrolled.

map data

The data showed that the international education is one of the growth sectors. It is also one of the top services exports in Australia which promotes economic developments. It diversifies the economy at the same time.

Simon Birmingham, the Federal Education Minister, recommended in ABC’s interview that the figure prove the importance of attracting overseas students. He said the international education has became the third largest “export sector, generating more than $21 billion of economic activity in Australia.” It supports many jobs and gives benefits to both Australian and overseas students.

He said there were more job opportunities created, “ the opportunities for Australian students to study alongside international students and to gain exposure to people from more than 200 different countries who are now studying in Australia.”

International Student Banquet and Flag Dedication 2008

Professor Graham Sewell, the coordinator and lecturer of Melbourne university, said that international education brings the “direct and indirect economic contribution to the Australian economy.”

The Government has also released the results of last year’s International Student Survey. It was found that 89 per cent of students were satisfied or very satisfied with their overall experience in Australia.


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