research / ACRI Facts

Australian students in China

December 06 2017

1. In 2016, there were 442,389 international students in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Of these, 4,796 (1.1 percent) were from Australia.[1]

2. In 2016, Australia was the 23rd source country for international students in the PRC. The top 10 were:[2]

  1. South Korea (70,540)
  2. The United States (23,838)
  3. Thailand (23,044)
  4. Pakistan (18,626)
  5. India (18,171)
  6. Russia (17,971)
  7. Indonesia (14,714)
  8. Kazakhstan (13,996)
  9. Japan (13,595)
  10. Vietnam (10,639)

3. In 2016, there were 253 Australian students in Taiwan.[3] There are no publicly available data for Hong Kong or Macao.

4. In 2016, the number of Australian students in the PRC had increased by 30.6 percent from 2011.[4]

5. In 2016, as a proportion of international students in China, Australian students in the PRC had decreased by 0.06 percent from 2011.[5]

6. The PRC is the second most popular destination for Australian university exchange and other mobility programs, accounting for nine percent of all experiences in 2015. The top destination, the United States, accounted for 13 percent of all experiences.[6]

7. In 2016, the majority (3,287 or 68.7 percent) of Australian students remained in the PRC for less than six months. This is a significantly higher proportion than that of all international students (24.6 percent).[7]

This fact sheet was prepared by Simone van Nieuwenhuizen, Project and Research Support Officer, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney.

Sources:

[1] Author’s calculations made using data from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, ‘Inbound international students to China, 2011-2016’, 2017 <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A7YDhF9T3OOjQGuB-I85EfrIGf3rPeR3....

[2] Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, ‘2016 data for inbound international students to China [2016年度我国来华留学生情况统计]', March 1 2017 <http://www.moe.edu.cn/jyb_xwfb/xw_fbh/moe_2069/xwfbh_2017n/xwfb_170301/170301_sjtj/201703/t20170301_297677.html>. Note: this webpage includes a typo – its figure for India reads ’18,717’ instead of ’18,171’, which appears in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ database.

[3] Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan), ‘Number of Foreign Students in R.O.C. (1954- 2016)’, 2017 <http://english.moe.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=14530&ctNode=11432&mp=1>.

[4] Author’s calculations made using data from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, ‘Inbound international students to China, 2011-2016’, 2017 <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A7YDhF9T3OOjQGuB-I85EfrIGf3rPeR3....

[5] Author’s calculations made using data from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, ‘Inbound international students to China, 2011-2016’, 2017 <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A7YDhF9T3OOjQGuB-I85EfrIGf3rPeR3....

[6] Australian Government Department of Education and Training, ‘International mobility of Australian university students’, January 2017 https://internationaleducation.gov.au/research/Research-Snapshots/Documents/Outgoing%20international%20mobility_HE_2015.pdf.

[7] Author’s calculations made using data from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, ‘Inbound international students to China, 2011-2016’, 2017 <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A7YDhF9T3OOjQGuB-I85EfrIGf3rPeR3_JKex_vCHu0/edit#gid=0>.