A record 554,179 students studied in Australia last year with enrolments in higher education and vocational education and training growing 13 percent and 12 percent respectively in comparison with 2015, Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said on Wednesday.
According to the figures by the Department of Education and Training, the higher education sector had the largest share of Australia’s international students, with 43 percent. Of those the largest numbers came from China and India.
The vocational education sector accounted for 26 percent of international student enrolments with English Language Intensive Courses attracting 21 percent.
Meanwhile, a survey of 65,000 students showed a record 89 percent of international tertiary students were either satisfied or very satisfied with the education they had received in Australia.
The 2016 International Student Survey results showed the top three reasons international students chose to study in Australia were the reputation of Australian qualifications, the reputation of the Australian education system as a whole, and personal safety and security.
“Australia’s international education system continues to be at the forefront of our transition from an economy built on the success of the mining and construction boom to an economy based on knowledge, services and innovation,” Birmingham said.
Birmingham said that in 2016 preliminary export data shows international education exports hit a record 21.8 billion Australian dollars (16.8 billion U.S. dollars), making it Australia’s third largest export after iron ore and coal.
“The benefits of international education flow through to sectors such as retail and tourism, supporting over 130,000 full time jobs across our major cities, and in key regional areas where international education has established a strong foothold,” the minister said. Enditem