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Australian universities have been “inundated” with applications from international students as demand exceeds pre-covid levels at some institutions, with Indian students driving the rebound.

Applications from international students were 40% higher than in 2019 at the University of Wollongong and 27% higher at the University of Queensland, according to Australian press. Much of the demand is from Indian students, as applications from this cohort increased by over 150% at the University of Queensland.

Macquarie University experienced a 27% decline in demand, while other institutions are seeing more interest. UNSW in Sydney and the University of Queensland reported 25% and 40% increases in application rates from China, respectively.

It comes as the Australian government releases a new report showing that international students drove a recovery in migration figures in 2022 after the country experienced a net outflow of 85,000 migrants due to Covid-19 in 2020/21. Despite this, recovery is not expected to fully offset the loss and the country is expected to remain “smaller and older than would otherwise have been the case”.

Catriona Jackson, CEO at Universities Australia, said the population statement “confirms international students play a vitally important role in our migration mix”.


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