Australian Universities Bounce Back From Pandemic Days - 2,000 More Int'l Students in January This Year

Australia Oceania International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Apr 01, 2023

Australia students

International student enrollment at Australia’s higher education institutions is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn.

Data released by the Department of Education have shown that the number of international students enrolled in study programs this academic year has increased by nearly 2,000 in January 2023 compared to before the COVID-10 pandemic.

The same source shows that the total number of international students in the country in January 2023 was 448,274 - 20 percent more than in the same month in 2022, reports.

In a media release issued on Wednesday, March 29, Universities Australia, the peak body for 39 Australian universities, said the increasing number of international students is a good support for Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson expressed satisfaction with more international students returning to Australian campuses, saying these figures demonstrate the progress made in international education recovery.

“It’s terrific to see so many students back on campus with their friends,” Jackson said.

She said it is especially pleasing to see that student commencements have exceeded pre-pandemic levels as overseas students again choose Australia’s renowned universities. Nonetheless, she said more progress needs to be made because the total enrollments are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels.

Jackson said she hopes February data will reveal another increase in student arrivals, commencements and enrollments.

“The value of international students extends far beyond the numbers. When students come to Australia, they make important contributions that improve our social and cultural fabric and strengthen our friendships with the world,” she added.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics published earlier this year revealed a 111 percent increase in international student numbers in Australia in January 2023 compared to January 2022.

But, last month, Australian Education Minister Jason Clare said that according to predictions, international student numbers won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

Minister Clare said that the UK and Canada are now “eating Australia’s lunch” because Australia was forced to tell students to return to their home countries amidst the pandemic to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the time.

Commenting on the number of students from abroad, Chief Executive Jackson said Australia has one of the best international education systems in the world, and it should continue making progress to return the strength it had before the pandemic.

There were 613,327 international students in Australia by November 2022, of whom 360,358 were enrolled at the country’s universities and colleges. In 2022, most international students in Australia were from China (110,582 students), India (99,739), and Nepal (56,847).

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

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