Saturday, November 8, 2008

Background and Statistics

In an effort to provide some background to the international student population in Melbourne, here are some figures from the Australian Education International and Australian Bureau of Statistics websites.

The most recent data from the Australian Education International website reveals that as of August 2008 there were 112, 728 students from China studying in Australia, representing 23.6% of international student enrollments. This figure was up 18.8% on the previous year. As of June 2008, Victoria hosted 28, 059 of these students, enrolled across all sectors including Higher Education (12541), ELICOS (5120) High School (6033) and VET courses (3649).

Further insight into the Chinese student community comes from the
Australian Bureau of Statistics website. The latest information from
2006-07 shows us that 57% of arrivals from China are aged in the 20-24 age bracket, with a further 20% aged between 25-29.

In terms of gender, girls made up 52% of the 2006-07 Chinese student cohort, an interesting figure considering that the next largest student group that year were from India with 80% of that group being male.

Figures from ABS show that 20% of the international student population are engaged in part time work of some sort, the majority in the food and accommodation service sector.

However, what I really want to know is how are these students finding their experience in Melbourne? Is it meeting their expectations? What are their biggest sources of frustration? Do they want to stay? If not, why not? Why did they choose Melbourne to begin with? Through talking with students I hope to delve more deeply into these questions, and unearth more questions of interest.

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