By a CMM special correspondent

A year back CMM reported Western Australia’s share of the international student market was just 6.2 per cent of national commencers.  The hope then was that more state government funding and a new strategy would increase share. And now new figures (for May) from Australian Education International reveal what happened.

The bad news: WA continues to lose market share. This time last year it had 6.2% of the business, this year it is 6%.

The VTE sector in WA appears to be imploding. While the national growth rate in enrolments in VTE is 17.2 per cent, WA recorded a -14.1 rate – this alone should have industry and government boffins alike sitting up and taking notice.

NSW was on the national trend while Victoria recorded 19.3 per cent and Queensland 16.8 per cent increases. South Australia is the star, with 24.1 per cent growth.

When looking at incoming students alone, it doesn’t get any easier for WA, recording an 11.9 per cent decline in commencements. The national number is up 18 per cent, with NSW recording 17.7 per cent, Victoria 22.1 per cent, Queensland 12.8 per cent and South Australia 31.2 per cent.

WA’s market share of the VTE sector is 6 per cent, for both enrolments and commencements.

The OK news: The ELICOS sector (visa as opposed non-visa) grew 8.9 per cent in WA, compared to a national rate of 1.4 per cent, for enrolments. Commencements were similar up 8.3 per cent against a 1 per cent national rate.

While there is a way to go before the state recovers from the 20 per cent decline in 2017-18 there are green shoots. The state’s national share of the ELICOS market is 6.3 per cent for enrolments and 6.4 per cent for commencements.

The good-ish news: Higher education commencements grew 29.2 per cent, a fantastic recovery from the 3.3 per cent drop in 2017-18, although less impressive in the context of the 13 per cent national growth rate.

The high commencement rate translates into an increase of 13.7 per cent in enrolments, ahead of the 13.1 per cent national rate.

All states did well in HE and it continues the main driver of international education activity with 52 per cent of enrolments.  WA Market share of this sector is 5.6 per cent for enrolments and 6 per cent for commencements.

Same time next year:  Has, the new StudyPerth model and state government strategy stopped the rot? We’ll let you know in 12 months.


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