Indian students studying in Australia will soon outnumber those coming from China, says a new report.
The number of Indian students traveling abroad to study continues to grow, and a new report suggests that more Indians will choose Australia as a destination to study in the next ten years.
The report from L.E.K. Consulting's Global Education Practice predicts that Indian students in Australia will soon outnumber Chinese international students, who are currently the most numerous in the country at 40 per cent of international students.
L.E.K. analysts estimate that Chinese demand for international education in Australia will slow from 15 percent to 5-10 per cent over the next decade.
On the other hand, more Indian students will come to Australia for higher education. More than 400,000 Indians students seek to study outside of India, which is the second largest national group of outbound students in the world.
The number of Indian students arriving in Australia for higher education has doubled in three years. 26,000 Indian students chose Australia as a destination for higher education in 2014, and the figure reached 54,000 in 2017.
Changes in visa policies won't affect
The Australian government has indicated some policies might be tightened, potentially slowing down the rate of incoming Indian students. But, Anip Sharma of Global Education Practice and co-author of the report says, “Australia may be tightening some policies, but other countries like the US are also implementing changes to visa policies.”
"As long as Australia’s visa regime remains in line with or is more favourable than other international destinations, it will experience continued growth in the international student market," he says. "But, the second tier universities here in Australia will have to provide innovative offerings that can attract Indian students.”
China's domestic education market matures
Citing reasons about the decreasing numbers of Chinese students coming to Australia, Sharma says: "Factors like demographics, maturation of the domestic education market and the general economy of China affect the Chinese demand for foreign education and keeps students away from Australia.
"China has been investing in improving the quality and ranking of its own universities, with the ultimate ambition to have 40 universities within the top 200 by 2050. It is now attracting nearly 500,000 inbound international students per year, growing at 10% per year, a clear sign of the attractiveness of its domestic higher education market.
"Apart from that, there are also foreign university places available in China itself. There are approximately 37 foreign branch campuses in the country and more than 2000 joint ventures between Chinese and foreign universities that keep students away from opting to study in a foreign university. In the meantime, the demand for higher education by Indian students has been increasing by 15 to 20 percent every year. It is roughly three times the global growth rate of China."
Advantages for Australia's regional universities?
“Recent statements given by the federal government could compel international students to settle in regional and rural areas. Moreover, the cost of living in the rural areas is significantly lower than in coastal cities," says Sharma. "These factors could provide a boost to regional universities in attracting more Indian students.”