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Australia is a popular study destination with students from around the world—including 6,022 Filipinos in 2018—desiring to have top-quality education that meets global standards.
In 2017, 799,371 international students were enrolled in education programs in Australia. Of these, there were 350,472 international students enrolled in the higher education sector.
However, while the rest of international students from other countries take up higher education courses, the Filipinos buck the trend. There are more student visas granted to Filipino student visa applicants in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) than those seeking advanced degrees – masters or PhDs.
The reason is two-fold: 1) most Filipinos taking up further studies in Australia already have bachelor’s degrees; and 2) the advanced degrees – masters and PhDs – are more costly than the combination of a Certificate III, IV and a one-year diploma course.
Taking up a two-year advanced diploma course under the VET classification is not only less expensive, but also provides specific occupation-related programs that justify career pathways in Australia.
Masters and PhD courses are also widely available in the Philippines in schools that are recognized by reputable world ranking institutions e.g., the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, University of Santo Tomas and Mapua University.
Justifying an expensive postgraduate course in Australia, Canada, New Zealand is difficult especially if the same course is available in the Philippines.
Which education sectors are international students studying in?
The following statistics show what courses or academic programs international and Filipino students pursue in Australia:
Which states and territories are international students studying in?
New South Wales and Victoria attract the largest numbers of international students with 304,545, followed by Victoria (253,076; Queensland, 123,737. Western Australia, 53,897; South Australia, 35,821. The remaining state and territories have smaller numbers of international students and smaller numbers of students overall: Australian Capital Territory with 16,910; Tasmania, 8,889 and Northern Territory, 2,495.
Where are Australia’s international students from?
Majority of the 799,371 international student enrollments came from 10 countries in 2017: China, India, Brazil, Nepal, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia.
Students from China are way ahead of the others, with 231,191, followed by India, 87,615. Brazil is a distant third at 36,496.
Philippine students in Australia
Over a four-year period (2016 to 2019),there were more Filipino students taking up courses under the vocational education and training classification than higher education and other academic programs.
In 2016 there were 8,001 Filipino students in VET courses compared to 6,830 in higher education. There were fewer Filipino students in primary to secondary schools and even less numbers in the ELICOS and non-award classifications.
Over the next two years (2017 to 2018), Filipino students in VET courses increased significantly (8,129 to 9,326 respectively).
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