International Students in Australia Are Not Discouraged By Govt Measures, Tens of Thousands Flock Into Country

Australia Oceania International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Mar 14, 2024


International students are again choosing Australia as their study destination in significant numbers, despite the Australian government’s new measures to reduce students' intake while attempting to address net migration. Tens of thousands of them entered the country in January 2024 alone.

According to newly released data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a total of 82,890 international students enrolled in all education sectors touched down in Australia in January 2024, reports.

However, their numbers have not yet approached pre-pandemic levels, as the current figure is 8.1 percent lower than the one reported during the same month in 2019.

Back in January 2019, over 90,000 international students flocked into Australia.

“In January 2024 there were 82,890 international student arrivals to Australia, an increase of 23,660 students compared with the corresponding month of the previous year. The number of student arrivals in January 2024 was 8.1 percent lower than the pre-COVID levels in January 2019,” the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals.

In January 2024, Australia also recorded an increase of 514,060 arrivals compared to the previous year, totaling 2,122,070. At the same time, departures from the country are also up, reaching 1,745,840, also an annual increase of 368,990.

44,740 Students in Universities & Colleges in January 2024

The number of international students in higher education hit 44,740 in January 2024, bouncing back to 2019 levels.

International student numbers in Australian higher education witnessed a notable increase, up 126 percent from January 2022 to 2024.

The official figures also show a nearly 64 percent rise in students pursuing postgraduate research courses within one year, from 3,080 in January 2023 to 5,050 in 2024.

International Student Trends in Australian Higher Education (1)

Regardless of what new figures reveal, the Albanese Government, through its Migration Strategy plans to reduce the number of international students in the country in a move to reduce migration levels.

The strategy announced in 2023 and being implemented now has led to confusion among international students, with many facing visa rejection.

It has been reported that visa approvals are down to record lows. In the last two quarters of 2023, as many as one in five students had been refused a visa to study in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The new migration strategy has led to some institutions withdrawing their admission offers. The strategy demands prospective international students to prove they have sufficient funding to study in Australia and a higher level of English proficiency while they should also pass a “Genuine Student Test.”

One of the universities withdrawing an admission offer is the University of Wollongong, according to the Koala News. The institution asked one of the students to withdraw or defer their enrollment.

letter by University of Wollongong

The Koala News obtained the letter from the University of Wollongong sent to a student.

Australia welcomed 786,891 international students during the January and December 2023 period, a 27 percent increase in one year. The majority of these students hail from China (166,420 in 2023), followed by India (124,487) and Nepal (62,379).

Related News

University of Victoria image

The government of Victoria, Australia, has asked to be treated differently from other states regarding the capping of international student numbers. This request follows concerns over the negative effect of the pandemic on the state’s economy.


Jul 23, 2024

A person holding a jar of money

The Australian government’s decision to implement an increase in visa fees for international students has sparked reactions among international students who are now reconsidering their studies in the country.


Jul 10, 2024


Higher education institutions in Australia have clashed over the international student cap proposed in May, which would allow the education minister to limit the number of new international students enrolled at Australian institutions.


Jul 04, 2024