Australia Welcomed Over 100,000 International Students in February

Australia Oceania International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Apr 14, 2023

Australia

Australia continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting a flow of international students, the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed.

According to data, nearly 143,000 students entered Australia in February this year, which is 93,270 more than in the same period last year. However, the number of students was 22.5 percent lower in February compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, Erudera.com reports.

Commenting on the figures, Universities Australia acting Chief Executive, Peter Chesworth, said that the return of international students to Australia boosts not only campus life but also the country’s economy, which benefits universities, local businesses, and communities.

“Education is a serious economic driver and added more than $40 billion to the economy pre-COVID, helping to pay for the essential services Australians need and enjoy.”

Earlier this year, the ABS showed the number of international students in Australia increased by 111 percentage points, with the number jumping more than 500,000 from 28,030 students in the same month last year.

Chesworth said that the education Australian universities provide overseas students is a powerful tool for cultural understanding and longstanding relations.

“We are steadily working back to the position of strength we held prior to the pandemic. The sooner we get there the better – for the benefit of our universities and all Australians,” he added.

A few days ago, the Australian Department of Education released data indicating that the number of international students pursuing degrees at the country’s universities has increased by nearly 2,000 in January this year compared to the period before the pandemic.

Nonetheless, although more students are returning, the number has yet to reach the pre-pandemic levels, and official data have revealed a 34.4 percent decrease compared to 2019.

Australian Education Minister Jason Clare said in a media interview that counties like the UK and Canada are “eating Australia’s lunch.” He described international education in Australia as “kneecapped” by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clare said that the UK and Canada worked towards welcoming more international students when Australia recorded declines in student numbers after telling them to return to their home countries during the pandemic days.

In 2022, the number of international students in Australia increased by seven percent compared to 2021, with most students coming from China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, and Colombia. There were 613,327 international students at Australian educational institutions until November 2022, of whom 360,358 were enrolled at higher education institutions alone.

>> International Students Contributed $25.5 Billion to Australian Economy in 2022

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