Release type: Media Release


Record numbers of international students choose Australia


Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Minister for Tourism and International Education
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Almost half a million international students from nearly two hundred countries studied in Australia in 2015, demonstrating Australia’s strong global-competitiveness in education.

Australia’s ranking in the global student community remains strong, with the 2015 figures representing growth of 10 per cent on student numbers compared to 2014.

Chinese students continue to flock to Australia with 136,097 students last year – up 13.3 per cent on the previous year. China contributed 27.3 per cent of all international students in Australia, the highest of any nationality, with India second, contributing 10.8 per cent.

These figures prove that international education is one of the five super-growth sectors – it’s one of our top services exports and it’s supporting our economy as we transition to a more diversified economy.

International education delivered nearly $20 billion to the Australian economy in 2015, confirming the importance of the sector to Australia’s growing knowledge economy.

Australia offers high quality education services, teaching, learning and research, and we have world-leading tuition protection arrangements, which is why 498,155 international students chose to enrol across all Australian education sectors in 2015.

Nationalities in the top ten countries – China, India, Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Brazil, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia and Hong Kong – together contributed just over two thirds, 66.2 per cent of total international student numbers.

This Government’s reforms have cut regulatory costs for institutions by $48.2 million a year, allowing Australian universities, vocational education and training providers, English language providers and schools to focus on their core business of providing high quality education to students.

The Turnbull Government is continually working to improve the competitiveness of the sector by streamlining the administrative burden for education institutions while maintaining strong protections for students.

I look forward to releasing Australia’s first national strategy for international education later this year to facilitate further growth. The strategy will set a ten year vision to strengthen collaboration between all stakeholders in the sector.

Details of the latest international education figures for 2015 are available at: