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Thursday, 5 February 2009
Page: 672


Dr Stone asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, in writing, on 27 November 2008:

In respect of overseas students: (a) how many are currently in Australia; (b) what is the breakdown by (i) nationality; (ii) course; and (iii) state; (c) how many overseas student deaths have been reported since November 2007; and (d) what was the cause of these deaths.


Mr McClelland (Attorney-General) —The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

(a)   As at 30 September 2008, there are 363 560 persons on student visas, including student dependants, in Australia.

(b)  

(i)   Table 1 provides the breakdown of the number of overseas students in Australia as at 30 September 2008 by nationality.

Table 1. Citizenship Distribution of Overseas Students (as at 30 September 2008)

Citizenship

Number of student visa holders

Percentage of the total

China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)

78 317

21.5

India

70 532

19.4

Korea, Republic of (South)

23 301

6.4

Malaysia

17 267

4.7

Nepal

13 488

3.7

Indonesia

12 673

3.5

Thailand

12 624

3.5

Vietnam

11 006

3.0

Hong Kong (SAR of China)

9 841

2.7

Japan

7 515

2.1

Brazil

7 230

2.0

Sri Lanka

7 144

2.0

Singapore

6 766

1.9

Saudi Arabia

6 407

1.8

United States of America

5 142

1.4

Bangladesh

5 101

1.4

Taiwan

5 016

1.4

Colombia

4 338

1.2

Others

59 852

16.5

Total

363 560

100

 

(ii)   Table 2 provides the breakdown of the number of overseas students by education sectors.

Table 2: Distribution of overseas students across various education sectors (as at 30 September 2008)

Education sector

Number

Percentage of the total

AusAID

4 755

1.3

Defence

432

0.1

ELICOS

17 616

4.8

Schools

27 308

7.5

Secondary - Exchange

1 408

0.4

Vocational Education & Training (VET)

88 691

24.4

Higher Education

202 735

55.8

Postgraduate Research

10 808

3.0

Non-award

9 781

2.7

Other/Not stated

26

0.01

Total

363 560

 

(iii)   Table 3 provides the breakdown of the number of overseas students by state. These figures are based on the state of intended residence data as entered on the Incoming Passenger Card by the visa holder upon arrival to Australia.

Table 3: Distribution of overseas students across various states & territories (as at 30 September 2008)

State/Territory

Number of student visa holders

Percentage of the total

NSW

124 621

34.3

Victoria

109 205

30.0

Queensland

48 115

13.2

South Australia

18 073

5.0

Western Australia

24 283

6.7

Tasmania

2 949

0.8

Northern Territory

589

0.2

Australian Capital Territory

5 686

1.6

Not stated

30 139

8.3

Total

363 560

100

 

(c)   Departmental records indicate that from 1 November 2007 to 30 November 2008, a total of 62 student visa holders were reported as deceased to the Department. This includes 11 student visa holders who died while they were outside Australia.

(d)   Information on the cause of death is not required by DIAC when recording the death of a visa holder. Consequently, very few deceased student visa holders had the cause of their death recorded. Table 4 provides a summary, where this is known, of the causes of deaths of overseas students since 1 November 2007.

Table 4. Causes of deaths of student visa holders (November 2007 to November 2008)

Cause

Onshore

Offshore

Total

Accident

14

4

18

Illness

3

0

3

Suicide

0

1

1

Unknown

34

6

40

TOTAL

51

11

62

Note: As there can be a significant time lag between the occurrence of the event and the submission of the official advice on death (eg a coronial report), these figures are subject to revision.