Number of Chinese student enrollments in Australia 2010-2019, by education sector

There were more than 260,000 Chinese student enrollments in Australia in 2019, with approximately 160,000 enrolled in the higher education sector alone. This high figure is largely in part to many institutions readily accepting international students, as well as the use of English as the main language in most educational courses. The limited amount of university spots in China due to its large population also forces Chinese students to look overseas for education opportunities.

Demographic of international students in Australia

  Australia has the largest proportion of international students in higher education, with almost a third of all higher education students in the country being international students. Furthermore, Chinese students make up the biggest share of these international students, with almost twice as many students as second-placed India.

Education as a source of income

  While the cost of education is regulated for local students, universities in Australia can set their own prices for internationals. This creates a market where institutions are permitted to set prices to match the high demand for education. In 2019, the export income from international education activity in Australia was over 37 billion Australian dollars. Despite this high cost of entry, there is still plenty of demand with some universities such as the University of New South Wales having more than 40 percent of students coming from overseas.

Number of Chinese student enrollments in Australia from 2010 to 2019, by education sector (in 1,000s)*

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

2010 to 2019

Supplementary notes

*Data reflects student enrolments in Australia. Country of origin is based on citizenship, not permanent home residence.
** Vocational Education and Training
*** English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students
Figures have been rounded.

No release date available, data were accessed on March 2, 2020.

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