A Closer Look at International Student Demographics in ANZ

Posted by Tribal Group

 Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) have long been favoured destinations for international students seeking quality education and enriching experiences. But who are these students, where do they come from, and what do they seek in their educational journeys? In this article, we take a closer look at the demographics of international students in ANZ, offering insights into their preferences and how institutions can tailor their offerings accordingly. 


Countries of Origin

International students in ANZ represent a diverse array of countries, reflecting the global appeal of these destinations. Among the notable contributors are: 

  • China: Historically a significant source of international students, Chinese students continue to choose ANZ for their education. In Australia, Chinese students make up a substantial portion of the international student community, accounting for 21% of international student visas in June 2023. Meanwhile, New Zealand also attracts a significant number of Chinese students. 
  • India: The Indian student community is on the rise, with notable growth in Australia. Indian students accounted for 16% of international student visas in Australia in June 2023, highlighting their increasing representation. Indian students are drawn to ANZ for their academic excellence and post-study work opportunities. 
  • Nepal: Nepalese students have increasingly chosen ANZ for their higher education. In Australia, Nepalese students accounted for 9% of international student visas in June 2023, making them a notable demographic. 
  • Southeast Asia: ANZ institutions have been witnessing a surge in students from Southeast Asian countries, particularly after efforts to strengthen education links with the region. These countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 
  • Others: ANZ's allure extends to students from various corners of the globe, including the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. These diverse student populations contribute to the rich cultural tapestry of ANZ's campuses.

Preferences and Motivations

It goes without saying that understanding the preferences and motivations of international students is crucial for institutions in ANZ. Here are what we consider are among the key factors driving their choices: 

  • Academic Excellence: The reputation of ANZ universities for academic excellence is a major draw. International students value the quality of education, with data showing a 29% increase in international student enrolments in Australia in June 2023 compared to the previous year. 
  • Post-Study Work Opportunities: The prospect of gaining practical experience through post-study work options is a significant motivator. Many students see ANZ as a stepping stone to kickstart their careers. Last year post-study work rights were cited as a key factor in around 60% of respondents who nominated Australia as their most appealing destination. 
  • Quality of Life: The high standard of living, access to healthcare, and safety in ANZ are attractive propositions for students and their families. Quality of life significantly contributes to the overall student experience, which no doubt played a part in the 71% increase in international student applicants to the region in early 2023. 
  • Cultural Diversity: With such a large volume of international students entering the region, the multicultural nature of ANZ societies offers an enriching environment and the opportunity to interact with people from various backgrounds broadening their horizons and cultural awareness. 
  • Natural Beauty and Adventure: The stunning natural landscapes and outdoor adventures available in both countries have clear appeal to those seeking a well-rounded life experience alongside their studies. 


Tailoring Offerings for Diversity

The diversity in international student demographics presents opportunities and challenges for institutions in ANZ. Here's how they can tailor their offerings: 

  • Program Diversity: Institutions can expand their course offerings to cater to a wider range of academic interests. This can include specialised programmes, flexible study options, and interdisciplinary courses.
  • Support Services: Providing comprehensive support services, including academic, mental health, and cultural support, is crucial to ensuring the well-being and success of international students from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Cultural Integration: Promoting cultural integration and creating a welcoming environment is key. This can involve organising cultural events, peer mentoring programmes, and initiatives that foster cross-cultural understanding.
  • Language Support: Ensuring language support services, such as English language courses and language exchange programmes, can help international students adapt to their new academic environment. 



In conclusion, the demographics of international students in ANZ are as diverse as the countries they come from. Understanding their preferences and motivations is vital for institutions to provide a welcoming and enriching educational experience. By tailoring their offerings to cater to this diversity, ANZ institutions can continue to attract and support international students in their pursuit of academic excellence and personal growth. 


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