India joins China to account for dominant proportion of international students

by UQ Research

Over the years, China has been the biggest driver of international student numbers to all the top destination countries including US, Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand. In the last three years, India has seen a healthy surge too.

Students from India and China account for anywhere between 35-45% of the total international students in the Top 3 destination countries: US, Australia and Canada.

In US, Indian and Chinese students account for nearly 45% of total international students, and this proportion has been growing steadily over the years. Over the past decade or so, there has been a big spike from Chinese students. In the past two years however, the momentum in terms of % increase of student numbers has been higher with India than China.

That is also in line with the 2015 record numbers from India to US. The nearly 30% increase in Indian students in US universities last year was a record for US ever since the country started collating international student numbers in the 1960s.

Together with already large numbers of Chinese students, Indian students will be the dominant segment in US universities.

Another country where the two groups have a dominant presence is Canada. Today, Indians and Chinese account for 42% of international students in the country. And just six years back, in 2010, they accounted for only 30%. That’s very rapid growth in numbers, and the biggest reason why Canada has displaced UK as the third-most popular destination country.

Indians and Chinese students account for 30% to 45% total international students in US, Canada and Australia
Indians and Chinese students account for 30% to 45% total international students in US, Canada and Australia

In Australia, the two countries’ market share is 37.5% but that’s because of the big dip in Australia numbers from Asia in 2011-12 when a few racially motivated incidents created a threat perception for Asian students. At its peak, the two Asian countries accounted for 43%-plus share in Australia in 2010.

So if you are looking for the most popular options, where Indian students already account for a large chunk of international students, look no further than US, Canada and Australia.

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