Student enrollments in ELICOS increased by 89.6%, with the sector gaining 44,680 starts, closely followed by the higher education sector, which saw the second highest increase at 41,026 starts.
“The ELICOS sector has seen a remarkable recovery in 2022 as captured in Department for Education data, with annual growth of 155.4% at the start of the year,” said Brett Blacker, CEO, English Australia.
“This represented the highest increase in the volume of project starts of any education sector in Australia and is 63% back on 2019.”
At the same time, ELICOS application numbers exceeded pre-pandemic levels and are now at an all-time high and more than nine times higher than in 2021, with 56,492 visas submitted in 2022.
According to Blacker, this reflects the feeling that “international students are more willing than ever” to study in Australia.
“It also proves that our sector has not only recovered from the pandemic, but has become even stronger. This gives us great hope for what 2023, the year English Australia celebrates its 40th anniversary, will bring to the international education scene in Australia.”
“Throughout 2022, we have seen an ever-increasing number of students applying for visas from our original top source countries, including Colombia and Brazil, as well as new destinations such as Spain, Thailand and Chile.
Starts from Colombia increased by 286.5% with 9,414 additional students, while starts from Brazil increased by 419.3% with an additional 7,270 students.
Spain continues to increase starts, with a year-on-year increase of 724.4% in December.
Of the 157 nationalities with beginnings in December of the year, 44.6% came from the three main source countries – Colombia, Thailand and Brazil. The top 10 nationalities contributed 77.5% of all starts and the remaining 147 nations contributed 22.5%.
“We are even seeing an increase in students from China, despite their country’s struggle with Covid-19 and its strict restrictions,” Blacker said.
Starts from China increased by 15.5% with 1,290 more students compared to the year-to-date December 2021. Chinese students therefore accounted for 13.1% of ELICOS starts.
BROWNS English Language School CEO Justin Blake told The PIE the English language provider, with campuses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was “ready” to welcome back students from China.
I think the Chinese market will be important for us
“I think the Chinese market is going to be significant for us,” Blake said.
While the data paints a positive picture for ELICOS, Blacker admitted that educational institutions still face challenges, highlighting the ongoing nationwide housing and teacher shortages and the implications of the looming June 30 deadline to return to compliance. with the ESOS national code.
“But I think we’ve proven that the sector is capable of facing its challenges head on and coming out on top,” Blacker said.
“I am pleased that grant rates have stabilized at the end of 2022 after significant problems with processing delays and an increase in refusals over the course of the year.”