A boom in Asian students (predominately from China) ischanging the inner-city landscape in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. TheVictorian capital has not seen a cultural transformation of this magnitude indecades, mainly due to the influxof foreign students taking advantage of affordable accommodation and adiverse range of higher education options.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 38 percent of the Melbourne CBD are of Chinese ancestry, while the figure hovers around30 per cent for Adelaide, and this foreign influence has extended to thetertiary education sector. Federation University Australia has the highestproportion of international students, with 42.5 per cent coming from overseas,followed closely by Bond University (41.3 per cent).
There is a notable absence of Western Australianuniversities in the top echelon of this list, with Curtin University (18.6 percent) only just scraping into the top 20 for institutions around the country.Despite the mining boom over the last two decades, WA has not become a havenfor international students, rather enrolments at universities in the state havedropped in the last 15 years.
This is slightly surprising considering the varioussimilarities between WA and nearby Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singaporeand Indonesia. These include time zones, shorter plane trips and warm weather,yet Asian students, particularly those from China (which comprise a third ofAustralia's international market), are hardly flocking to study in WA.
The overall picture is largely positive, with theinternational education industry contributing $24 billion to the Australianeconomy, trailing only iron ore and coal as the nation's biggest export.
However, there is concern about the oversaturation ofinternational students in inner-city Sydney and Melbourne, which ties in with arecent report revealing 65 per cent of CBD residents in the Victorian capitaland 54 per cent of Sydney suburb Haymarket are not Australian citizens.