International Student Enrolments Up 20.0% in October 2008

The year-to-date (YTD) October 2008 AEI International Student Data show there were 519,127 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa. This is a 20.0% increase on YTD October 2007, and is the first time enrolments have exceeded 500,000. Commencements in the same period grew by 23.7%.

Nationality

Enrolments

The main source of Australia’s international students is the Asian region. Four of every five (79.1%) international student enrolments at onshore educational institutions were from the Asian region.

Nine of the top ten countries recorded increases in enrolments between YTD October 2007 and YTD October 2008. India recorded the largest growth with 30,578 more enrolments than the corresponding period in 2007, a 51.9% increase. Other top ten markets that grew strongly were China (growth of 20.0%), Nepal (105.6%), Vietnam (64.3%), Brazil (27.5%) and Thailand (11.1%).

Outside the top ten, countries with strong growth include Saudi Arabia (114.5%), Colombia (41.9%), Mauritius (67.9%), Sri Lanka (21.0%) and Pakistan (28.5%).

Hong Kong is ranked 6th by enrolment volume as at October 2008; however enrolments from this market declined across all sectors, with an overall decline of 5.0%. This compares with an overall decline of 3.3% for the same period in 2007.

Other significant markets to record falls in enrolments include Japan (16.2% decline), Taiwan (5.7%) and the United States of America (2.2%). Bangladesh recorded a decline of 9.0%, compared to growth in YTD October 2007 of 10.3%.

International student enrolments by nationality (top 10 markets),

YTD October 2008

Nationality

Enrolments

% of Total

Growth on YTD October 2007

China

122,007

23.5%

20.0%

India

89,528

17.2%

51.9%

Republic of Korea

34,379

6.6%

3.4%

Malaysia

20,918

4.0%

6.9%

Thailand

20,724

4.0%

11.1%

Hong Kong

18,342

3.5%

-5.0%

Nepal

16,760

3.2%

105.6%

Indonesia

15,525

3.0%

7.1%

Vietnam

14,912

2.9%

64.3%

Brazil

14,569

2.8%

27.5%

Other Nationalities

151,463

29.2%

9.6%

All nationalities

519,127

100.0%

20.0%

Commencements

Overall commencements grew by 23.7% between YTD October 2007 and YTD October 2008. India recorded the greatest growth with 18,004 more commencements than the corresponding period in 2007 (a growth of 51.8%). China recorded 14,862 more commencements (27.7% growth) in the same period.

Other top ten markets showing double digit growth in commencements as at YTD October 2008 include Thailand (13.9%), Nepal (70.7%), Brazil (29.7%), Vietnam (79.4%) and Malaysia (13.1%). Among the other top 10 nationalities, the Republic of Korea grew by 3.6%, and the USA and Hong Kong recorded declines in commencements of 1.8% and 2.3% respectively. Outside the top 10, markets showing strong growth in commencements include Indonesia (19.6%), Saudi Arabia (115.1%), Colombia (33.6%) and Mauritius (108.2%).

International student commencements by nationality (top 10 markets),

YTD October 2008

Nationality

Commencements

% of Total

Growth on YTD October 2007

China

68,519

22.9%

27.7%

India

52,745

17.6%

51.8%

Republic of Korea

19,887

6.6%

3.6%

Thailand

12,088

4.0%

13.9%

Nepal

10,687

3.6%

70.7%

Brazil

10,490

3.5%

29.7%

Vietnam

9,554

3.2%

79.4%

USA

9,507

3.2%

-1.8%

Malaysia

9,412

3.1%

13.1%

Hong Kong

8,306

2.8%

-2.3%

Other Nationalities

88,254

29.5%

13.7%

All nationalities Sector

299,449

100.0%

23.7%

Higher Education

In YTD October 2008, the highest proportion of international student enrolments were in the higher education sector (34.7%). Enrolments in this sector increased by 4.5% while commencements increased 11.4% compared with the corresponding period in 2007.

China, India and Malaysia were the three largest contributing nationalities in both enrolments and commencements. China recorded the largest increase in commencements with 3,813 more commencements than the corresponding period in 2007, equivalent to a growth rate of 20.6%. Other markets contributing to the growth in commencements were Vietnam (59.0%), India (5.0%), Malaysia (9.1%), Saudi Arabia (79.0%), and the Republic of K

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