In the National ELICOS Market Report 2019English Australia  reports that there were 169,864 students at Australian ELT schools, around 10,000 fewer than the previous year and lowest total since 2014.

However, student weeks for Australian ELT decreased by only one per cent to 2,317,823 weeks on the back of a longer average stay of 13.6 weeks, compared with 13 weeks in 2019.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of Australia’s borders to all international arrivals since March will clearly have a significant impact on 2020 enrolments. As StudyTravel Magazine reported recently, English language schools have recommenced face-to-face delivery to students who remained in the country throughout the lockdown, but the government has not confirmed a date when new students will be able to enter. English Australia is currently working with federal and state governments on pilot schemes to allow small numbers of students to enter. 

By region the decreases were largely concentrated on the main source of Asia Pacific, which dropped by nine per cent to 110,305 students. Latin America and Europe, the second- and third-largest regions, registered growth of six and one per cent respectively.

All of Australia’s states suffered a decrease in ELICOS students last year, with the exception of the smallest by enrolments, South Australia, which registered a four per cent increase.

New South Wales remained the largest host state of ELICOS students, despite a seven per cent fall to 64,478 students. Victoria (44,228 students) overtook Queensland (43,548) into second place on the back of a lower decrease in 2019.

Despite the decreases in student numbers and student weeks, the economic impact of the ELT sector increased by 1.3 per cent to a record level of AUS$2.38 billion (US$1.65 billion) on the back of slightly higher tuition fees. The impact estimate is based on a methodology of tuition fee income x 1.92.

The English Australia National ELICOS Market Report 2019 was coordinated by English Australia, produced by Bonard, and supported by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment. The 2019 report was based on responses from 166 colleges across Australia. 

The article was originally published in StudyTravel Network (July 2020). You can read it online at the following link.

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