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Australia is a dynamic and vibrant country with a great deal to offer students, looking for international education. Choosing to come to Australia to study will provide you with new and wonderful opportunities and experiences, and a whole new view of the world, not to mention exciting and progressive world-class education programs.

What Australia offers

Here are some common reasons international students choose Australia as their overseas study destination. Australia has:

  • Dynamic and progressive education programs with a reputation for excellence
  • Globally-recognized courses and qualifications
  • Relaxed, enjoyable and safe lifestyle
  • Cheaper study and living expenses compared to many other countries
  • Vibrant, appealing and multicultural cities
  • Great weather
  • Amazing and diverse landscapes and scenery
  • Unique and wonderful flora and fauna.


Multicultural Australia

Australia is an increasingly popular study destination with students from around the world wishing to gain a top-quality education. Each year more and more students take up courses in Australia and add to the already significant international student body around the country.

How many international students are studying in Australia?

In 2009, 631,935 international students were enrolled in education programs in Australia. This figure represents a 16.8% increase on 2008 enrolments (slightly down on the 20.7% increase between 2007 and 2008 figures). Commencements (new student enrolments) grew by 13.2%.

Which sectors are they studying in?

Most of the international students in Australia are studying in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, followed by the higher education sector, and the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector (see the table below).

The VET sector is still experiencing rapid growth, with enrolments increasing by 33.3%. Courses in this sector are highly regarded worldwide for their quality and for the valuable work skills they provide. The higher education sector had enrolments and commencements grow in 2009 (12.1% and 15.4% respectively). The ELICOS sector also had a slight increase in 2009.

Which states are they studying in?

New South Wales and Victoria attract by far the biggest numbers of international students. New South Wales registered over 235,000 students hailing from overseas countries in 2009, whilst Victoria has slightly fewer than 200,000 international students. The other states and territories have smaller numbers of international students, and smaller numbers of students overall.

Where are the international students from?

The table below shows the international student enrolments for the top five nationalities for 2009, which contributed 57.4% of Australia’s enrolments in all sectors. The most significant growth in enrolments in 2009 came from outside the top 5 markets, with Saudi Arabia increasing by almost 62%. All of the top 10 countries (according to enrolment volume) increased enrolment numbers between 2008 and 2009.

What broad field of study are they taking?

In 2009, the field of study with the highest number of enrolments in the higher education sector was management and commerce (48.4%), while in the VET sector management and commerce registered 46% of enrolments, and the food, hospitality and personal services sector contributed 24.4% of enrolments.

The Information in this article is sourced from the Australian Government’s Australian Education 2009 international students’ enrolments data.

More About Australia

Australia is a vibrant and a friendly country, with a colorful history, a brilliant future and a delightful present! It is also a land of enormous cultural and geographical diversity, of wide-open spaces and bustling, sophisticated cities that are considered to be among the most livable in the world. Australia is the world’s most cosmopolitan country with people from every continent and over two hundred nations. For at least 50,000 years, Australia’s Aboriginal people have maintained the world’s oldest living culture – a very special heritage that adds a unique depth and richness to Australian life. It boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, stunning and unusual landscapes and vibrant cities. Most of the major cities are situated around the edge of Australia, with most of the population clustered into the South East corner and along the coast of Queensland.

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