Release type: Joint Media Release


Australia increasingly a destination of choice for international students


The Hon Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Minister for Tourism and International Education
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Australia is welcoming unprecedented numbers of international students in 2015. New statistics show continuing growth in the number of international students being granted student visas, indicating that we can expect to even more international students in 2016.

Almost 230,000 student visas were granted in 2014-15 – a 2.6 per cent increase on the previous year.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said it was the fifth successive year of growth in student visa applications.

“This growth is a great outcome for Australia given the importance of international students to the Australian economy,” Mr Dutton said.

Mr Dutton said the introduction of a new international student visa framework from next year will build further on the growth.

“It will enhance both our competitiveness in the international education market and improve integrity in visa processing.”

The Minister for Tourism and International Education Senator Richard Colbeck also welcomed the new data which demonstrates Australia’s ongoing success in the very competitive global education market.

“International education was worth over $18 billion to the Australian economy in 2014-15, making it our fourth largest export earner by value and a major job creator,” Senator Colbeck said.

“International students make a welcome contribution to the cultural richness of our education institutions and the wider Australian community.”

Both Ministers acknowledged the Australian Government’s commitment to enhancing Australia’s global reputation for delivering a high quality study and living experience.

Australia’s first national strategy for international education is being developed to provide a ten year outlook for strengthening the sector further.

“The strategy puts student experience at the heart of all our efforts, to ensure our international education sector is adaptive, innovative and globally engaged, and highly attractive to modern learners,” Senator Colbeck said.

Of the total student visas granted in 2014-15, 21.9 per cent were granted to Chinese students while grants to students from India also remained high and the number of grants to students from South Korea, Brazil and Thailand also increased from previous years.

Further information on the newly released statistics for the Student Visa programme are available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website: