A surge in international students drove demand for Australian MBA programs to record levels in 2019 with nearly 34,000 total enrolments.
New annual figures compiled by the Commonwealth Department of Education provided a snapshot of enrolment trends in Australian institutions in 2019 before the immense disruption caused by COVID-19 in 2020.
The data showed the number of students enrolled in MBA programs in Australia rose by nearly 10% from 2018 to 2019, after increasing 6% the previous year.
Total enrolments at Australian institutions rose above 30,000 for the first time in 2018 and hit 33,925 in 2019 – an all time high.
While domestic enrolments fell 5% to 12849 in 2019, international student enrolments skyrocketed 21.4% to reach 21076.
The jump in international students was driven by big spikes in the numbers of students at the Holmes Institute (up 48% to 4809), Kaplan (up 110.7% to 2099) students), Torrens (up 42% to 1600) and Southern Cross University (up 155% to 1092).
The 21.4% increase in international student numbers for Australian MBA programs follows a 14% rise in 2018 and 10% in 2017.
Prior to COVID-19, there was a growing trend by Australian universities and private providers to try and attract international students, who generally pay higher fees than domestic students.