Australian Education International | May 2013
In the year to date (YTD) to April 2013 , there were 356,993 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa. This represents a 2.9% decline on YTD April 2012 and contrasts with the average YTD April growth rate for enrolments of 5.8% per year in the preceding ten years.
There were 134,855 commencements in YTD April 2013, representing a 2.9% increase over the same period in 2012. This compares with the average YTD April growth rate for commencements of 4.8% per year in the preceding ten years.
In YTD April 2013, the Higher Education sector ranked first by volume of enrolments and by volume of commencements. The two largest markets for enrolments were China (39.9%) and Malaysia (7.2%). While the sector recorded a decline in enrolments of 2.5% ,commencements increased by 4.1% on YTD April 2012 figures. Post-graduate research commencements were up by 3.5% over the same period, while other post-graduate commencements grew by 15.8%. Commencements at the undergraduate level of study declined by 2.8%.
The growth in Higher Education commencements in early 2013 follows a nearly 12% growth in ELICOS commencements in the last six months of 2012 and almost 15% growth in Higher Education student visas granted to offshore applicants in the first quarter of 20132 (compared to the equivalent period in 2012).
This is likely to be the result of Australian Government reforms introduced in response to the Knight Review of Australia’s student visa system, notably the introduction of streamlined visa processing and new arrangements for post-study work visas.
The VET sector ranked second by volume of enrolments and of commencements. Enrolments and commencements in the sector fell by 12.7% and 5.9% respectively on YTD April 2012. India had the largest share of total enrolments (23.2%) and of total commencements (16.9%). China was the next largest source country for enrolments with 10.9%, followed by the Republic of Korea (6.9%) and Thailand (6.7%).
The ELICOS sector ranked third by volume of enrolments and of commencements. Enrolments grew by 13.2% Enrolments grew by 13.2% and commencements by 10.6% on YTD April 2012. This follows on from the positive trend for the sector that was seen in the second half of 2012. China was the largest ELICOS market in the period with a 25.3% share of enrolments and 22.2% of commencements. Colombia was the next largest source country for enrolments with 8.1%, followed by Brazil with 7.8%.