International students are continuing to return to Australia in ever-increasing numbers the threat of border closures dissipates and students are once again reminded of the benefits of studying ‘down under’.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows more than 59,000 students came to Australia in January – more than double the number in the same period last year – while provisional estimates have almost 143,000 returning in February.
More than 28,000 Chinese student visa holders arrived in Australia in the first three weeks of February alone, approximately 44% of the 63,000 visa holders outside of the country,
The infux of students is a huge turnaround from 2021 and 2022 when international students were locked out of Australia. The most recent data from 2021 enrolments showed a 21% decline in the number of international students doing an MBA in Australia.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the numbers of international students now coming to Australia was very encouraging as the sector fights to regain the ground lost during the pandemic.
“On campuses all around the country it is terrific to see students, from home and abroad, back in libraries and classrooms, learning with friends.
“Economic activity is also back and kicking, remembering that pre-Covid, education added more than $40 billion to our economy and supported 250,000 jobs.
“Our world-class universities offer excellent educational experiences and international students know that which is why we are the world’s third biggest provider of international education.
“We’re doing all we can to return to those pre-Covid numbers, and to go beyond, and we’re grateful for the support of government in this pursuit.
“The extension of post-study work rights for international students, in addition to the Prime Minister’s commitment to accelerate visa applications, will help us compete to secure the best minds.”