“Swift bounce back” in Australia to continue

Published 22/09/2022

Pent-up demand from prospective international students is likely to lead to a “boom” in enrolments in 2022 across major study destinations with a swift bounce back in Australia “in the cards”, analysis has suggested.

ApplyBoard has predicted that pent-up demand from traditional source markets such as India, Nepal, and China means Australia’s institutions will see an enrolment boom in 2022 and 2023.

In the first six months of borders reopening, more than 218,100 students applied for an Australian student visa, with over 151,100 student visa applications granted, the platform highlighted. The three traditional source countries accounted for 49% of student visas granted in 2021/22, ApplyBoard noted.

“It’s still early, but recent student visa data shows Australia’s international education market swiftly gaining momentum since the country’s borders reopened,” the company said.

Data from the study abroad application platform indicates that student deferrals, first-time applicants and applicants “looking to relocate to a country with a stronger economy” have all led to a “double cohort” effect in other destinations.

The impact of increased demands from the three types of cohorts has created “one unusually large cohort of students motivated by Covid-19 impacting their home countries and another cohort of students who deferred up to two years of education during the pandemic”, it added.

The platform’s data has record big upticks in submitted applications for the UK, Canada and the US.

“Growing post-graduate work opportunities and high immigration rates continue to make Canada an attractive destination for students, it appears the overspill of pent-up demand was not entirely drained during 2021,” ApplyBoard said.

“Full-year 2022 approval totals are in line to eclipse 2021, setting a new high for international education in Canada.”

However, it warned that tuition and living costs will influence destination decisions at an even higher rate in the future.

“International students’ budget targets hit their lowest point during 2021”

“One of our biggest learnings throughout 2022 has been that international students’ budget targets hit their lowest point during 2021. In 2021, 56% of searches on the ApplyBoard Platform were for programs with annual tuition of under 20,000 per year,” ApplyBoard said.

“In 2022, students were willing to spend more than in 2021 but not as much as in 2020. So far this year, two out of every three searches were for programs under 50,000.”

A surge in the value of the US dollar means international students “will generally find their home currency no longer goes as far in the US as it did in previous years”, the platform has recently stated.

Australia-based education consultancy Studymove recently said that universities in Australia can begin to feel more assured in increasing their international student fees in 2023.

“Budgets may slowly increase over the next few years, but rising inflation levels are likely to compound the financial impact of the pandemic for a significant amount of time,” the latest ApplyBoard analysis said. “Schools should keep this in mind when building out their international tuition pricing in the future.”

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