A recent report from ELICOS in Australia (English courses for international students) shows that in 2018 enrolments grew by only 1% comparing to 2017 to reach 179,340 students. There was also no great change in the number of study weeks, students stayed in Australia for a slightly lower average duration in 2018 as well: 13 weeks versus 13.2 in 2017.

International Students Nationality
Here is where we see some changes comparing to 2017. There was an 11% decline in student numbers from Europe, a 7% increase from the Americas, and a 1% increase from Asia-Pacific.It was the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region that contributed the highest rate of growth in student numbers: 9%
The Asia Pacific is still the region with the highest numbers of international students in Australia, with 121,730 in 2018 followed by the Americas with 33,645.
Students from Americas and MENA also represent those who stays in Australia for a longer period. America’s average stay is of 17.1 week and MENA 17.2 weeks. On the other hand, students from Asia stays only for an average of 12.1 weeks and European students for only 10.5 weeks in 2018.

Year-over-year growth, total enrolment, and total student weeks for the top ten sending markets for Australian ELICOS providers, 2018. Source: English Australia

Negative growth of -9% occurred in the Thai market, which is significant given the high number of weeks that Thai students contribute. Along with Thailand, the major contributors of student weeks in 2018 were China, Japan, Brazil, and Colombia.

In other Top 10 country news (2018), South Korea fell a bit (-3% to 12,880 students), and Colombia and India grew significantly, by 14% and 16% respectively. Taiwan declined by -5% to 6,895 students. Vietnam grew by 3% to 4,230 students and Spain grew by 4% to 3,885 students in 2018.

Trending for 2019
Based on the year over year comparing May 2018 and 2018 ELICOS commencements were up by 1%. China accounts for 24% of those commencements however already saw a so far down by nearly 12% compared to the same period in 2018. Another important country is Brazil which saw a far down of 10.4% comparing with 2018.
Markets that saw an increase comparing with 2018 were: India (22,2%), Colombia (21.7%) Vietnam (18.6%) and Spain (11.7%).
With those gains in the first half of 2019, Colombia has now overtaken Brazil as Australia’s second-leading source country, in terms of commencements YTD May 2019.