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A turnaround in student enrolments - begun in 2013- has strengthened and extended through 2014, as the latest data from the Department of Education and Training of the Australian Government show. As of year-to-date November 2014, there were 583 714 full-fee paying international students enrolled in Australia - a 12.3% increase over the same period for 2013 and more than double of the average annual enrolment growth rate (5.4% per year) over the previous ten years. Higher education accounted for the largest volume of enrolments (42.8%), with a higher 8.6% growth if compared to 2013.
Australia's English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) showed especially strong growth, with 2014 enrolment up to 19.7% compared with 2013. While in most countries there is no control over the English teaching industry, in Australia the government act as a regulator to make sure that all international students receive a high quality instruction to either develop their English or to continue on to academic studies. The link between ELICOS studies and higher education enrolment is well established: one-third (33%) of international students who completed an ELICOS course in 2012 progressed directly into higher education. Chinese and Vietnamese students are the most likely to stay in Australia for further study once they’ve completed an ELICOS course: nearly three-quarters (72%) of Chinese ELICOS students went on to higher education in 2012, and over half of Vietnamese did (56%).