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Female International Students More Likely to Enrol and Succeed, Study Finds

It’s no secret that Australia’s international education sector has experienced massive shifts in the last two years, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Australian Government sets its sights on recovery efforts, one study has revealed the critical role that female international students play in these plans. 

Published by The Lygon Group, the study used a gendered lens to reveal several fascinating findings about the international education sector in Australia. Here are some of the most important takeaways from the research and what it means for the future of the industry.

Female international students are more likely to enrol

One of the study’s first findings is that international education in Australia is “becoming increasingly female.” From 2016 to 2020, there was an 18 per cent increase in the number of male international students enrolled at Australian education providers. However, the number of female international students increased by 22 per cent during the same period.

The research also found that the countries that send more female international students send more international students in total. For example, China – which is Australia’s largest source of international students – sends more women than men, with more than 54 per cent of Chinese international students in Australia being female.

Female international students are more likely to succeed

Women students studying abroad in Australia at the undergraduate level consistently display high levels of success, year after year. Despite the effects of the pandemic, female international students not only maintained their academic edge, but actually increased it.

In 2020, the success rate of female international undergraduate students was 91.25% – noticeably higher than that of their male counterparts, whose success rate stood at 87.41 per cent. It was also higher than domestic undergraduate students of both genders, with female domestic students achieving a success rate of 87.41% and male domestic students reaching 83.46 per cent.

The role of women in Australia’s international education recovery

In an article penned for The Conversation, The Lygon Group Head of Research, Angela Lehmann, concludes that female international students must be a key consideration in the Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030, which stressed the importance of diversification, student support and student wellbeing in the future of the sector. 

Read more about the study here.