International Student Applications at Australian Unis Drop By 51%, US Sees 422% Increase

Australia Canada United Kingdom United States North America by Erudera News Nov 05, 2021

Australian universities

The number of international student applications at Australian universities has dropped by 51 percent since March this year, according to the SaaS-based recruitment marketplace,

On the other hand, international student applications at US universities have increased by 422 percent, Canada saw a 180 percent increase, while the number of applications in the United Kingdom also went up to 150 percent, reports.

“Universities across the US, UK and Canada are benefiting from Australia being taken out of the mix and seeing a significant surge in international student applications,” co-founder and CEO Ryan Trainor told Digital Nation Australia.  

Currently, the United Kingdom is the top study destination for international students, followed by the US and Canada listed third.

According to, in September 2021, IT was the most popular course for 50 percent of international students, 25 percent chose business, while engineering was the most popular course for 14 percent of students.

Ever since Australia closed its international borders on March 20, 2020, the number of international students began decreasing due to travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. Many students have even considered other study destinations, such as Canada or the United Kingdom.

The Ph.D. student from Bangladesh, Zeenatul Islam, is among the many students who have been affected by the travel ban, as she was unable to undertake and monitor her fieldwork in Bangladesh.

“I am concerned about data quality. The health safety of interviewees and interviewers will remain an issue obviously. I also anticipated that survey would be more time-consuming in this current situation. This could affect my analysis plan and timeline,” she told Erudera.

A report by the Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy identified nearly 210,000 fewer international students in Australia compared to prior years.

The country has recently announced that international students will be able to return to their Australian education institutions in early December 2021.

The Australian state, New South Wales, will welcome 250 fully vaccinated international students who have pursued studies from their home countries for some 19 months. Under the plan, students will return to the state each fortnight.

Differently, according to the 2020 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the United States managed to host more than one million international students in the 2019/20 academic year for the fifth successive year, with the majority of them coming from China and India.

In 2019, international students contributed $44 billion to the US economy. In Australia, they contributed more than $40 billion in the same year.  

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