International Students Numbers to Fall by Mid-2021 in Australia

International Students Numbers to Fall by Mid-2021 in Australia


Key Highlights:

 

  • Mitchell Institute Findings on International Students
  • Students Inside & Outside Australia
  • Impact on Australian Cities
  • Wider Economic Muddle
  • The Way Out

 

COVID-19 to halve the number of international students in Australia by mid-2021.

It is not just the universities that will feel the loss. This can cause a population shock which can get worse with time as per the Mitchell Institute findings.

The think tank on education policy estimates over 300,000 fewer international students by July 2021. This is about half the pre-COVID numbers.

If the pandemic travel restrictions remain it could be much severe. Corona pandemic has already cut the number of international students who would be in Australia by over 210,000.

Where are the students now?

The Australian government has released the data depicting international students location inside and outside Australia. 

International Students Inside & Outside Australia

Country of Citizenship

29 March 2020

1 November 2020

 

Outside

Inside

Total

Outside

Inside

Total

China

66,928

106,796

173,724

85,612

80,593

166,205

India

5,743

91,994

97,737

9,114

78,772

87,886

Nepal

1,259

44,052

45,311

1,361

39,457

40,818

Vietnam

2,894

19,434

22,328

3,628

17,160

20,788

Malaysia

1,664

17,352

19,016

2,970

13,201

16,171

Brazil

2,627

16,843

19,470

1,529

13,765

15,294

Colombia

1,940

15,914

17,854

1,551

13,331

14,882

Philippines

883

14,667

15,550

1,335

13,110

14,445

South Korea

1,733

14,424

16,157

3,090

10,886

13,976

Indonesia

1,446

14,568

16,014

2,922

11,333

14,255

Other

29,657

141,450

171,107

24,948

110,101

135,049

Total

116,774

497,494

614,268

138,060

401,709

539,769

 

Number of international students enrolled in Australian universities are now remotely studying outside Australia. Their numbers have increased dramatically from 116,774 to 138,060.

Total number of enrolled students is also down by 12% since March 2020. Newer students are not replacing current students having finished their courses due to border closures.

How will this impact Australian cities?

The latest data was utilized to update previous research done by Mitchell Institute. This was to explore the impact of international students' crises on Australian cities.

It was found that location and density of reduction in international students vary from one city to another.

  • It is estimated that 72,000 fewer students are living in Sydney due to the pandemic.

There will be a significant decrease in international students in different ways living in every major Australian city.

Wider Economic Muddle

Since these students spend in the wider economic spectrum, their location is very important. 

  • Almost A$21.4 billion (about 57%) of the A$37.5 billion with the international education system in the country come from goods and services utilized by these students.

This is bound to affect several local communities and businesses when international students continue to reside outside of Australia.

What can be done?

There is a contingency plan to bring international students back to Australia. It will be extremely helpful for students whose studies had been disrupted due to the pandemic.

Will these efforts be enough to reverse the downward spiral? 

It is still unclear, but the successful handling of the coronavirus can make Australia a far more attractive study destination when compared to other countries. 

Emphasis placed by the Australian government on the international education sector gives a ray of hope. As it is, there were concerns about Australia’s reliance on international student revenue before the pandemic started.

The return of international students to Australia will ensure that the island nation rebuilds with a sustainable and equitable global education sector.

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Topics: Study Visa

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