India, China propel foreign students market in Australia

Sydney, Sep 24 ( Indian and Chinese students are fuelling Australia’s education sector growth, latest statistics show. Indian student enrolments in the country reached 121,000 by this June.

According to a snapshot from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), China and India were the two biggest source countries for students, contributing $5.1 billion to the sector in 2007-08, Sydney Morning Herald reported Thursday.

“Indian student enrolments were 121,000 at June 2009, up an annual average 46 percent over the same period,” the report said.

The international education sector overall was worth $13.7 billion in 2007-08.

The Australian government has been working hard to improve the reputation of Australia’s international education services following a string of attacks against Indian students.

The sector has also suffered from revelations about some operators exploiting foreign students.

Indian students have faced a spate of vicious assaults over the past three months. The attacks caused an uproar in India, leading Canberra to assure New Delhi about the safety of the students.

The Australian education sector is now concerned that the attacks may lead to a dip in enrolment of international students.

The ABS said the number of enrolments from China was 146,000 by June 2009, showing an average annual 16 percent growth over the past six years.