More than 59,000 students came to Australia in January – more than double the number in the same period last year – while provisional estimates have almost 143,000 returning in February.
“These numbers are very encouraging as we continue to regain the ground we lost during the pandemic,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“On campuses all around the country it is terrific to see students, from home and abroad, back in libraries and classrooms, learning with friends.
“Economic activity is also back and kicking, remembering that pre-Covid, education added more than $40 billion to our economy and supported 250,000 jobs.
“Our world-class universities offer excellent educational experiences and international students know that which is why we are the world’s third biggest provider of international education.
“We’re doing all we can to return to those pre-Covid numbers, and to go beyond, and we’re grateful for the support of government in this pursuit.
“The extension of post-study work rights for international students, in addition to the Prime Minister’s commitment to accelerate visa applications, will help us compete to secure the best minds.”