In the first six months of 2020, ELICOS total commencements dropped by 24% to 43,292 – equal to 13,692 fewer commencements in 2019 – while total student enrolments fell 15.3% (14,758 fewer students) compared with annual figures up until June 2019.

ELICOS-only visa grants were down 16.8% for the financial year 2019-20

June 2020 saw 5,118 new starts, down from 6,734 in June 2019, the market analysis revealed.

However, English Australia noted that June’s decrease was “not as significant as May’s”, where 4,408 ELICOS students began, compared with 7,715 in May 2019.

“May traditionally sees more students commence than June, which means May 2020’s decrease was bigger both in real numbers (3,307 fewer commencements versus 1,616) and percentages (43% decrease compared to June’s 24%,” the report noted.

ELICOS-only visa grants were down 16.8% for the financial year 2019-20, the report added.

Australian offshore student visa numbers dropped by a third (33.5%) over the same time period, statistics have shown.

All but one of the top source countries for ELICOS providers have seen a drop in total students. Colombia has seen a 0.2% rise in students in 2020, from 6,894 until June in 2019 to 6,910 over as many months this year.

In March, three top-10 source countries continued growth – Colombia, Thailand and Spain – the organisation previously noted.

Thailand and Spain have now seen drops of 19% and 12.8% – around 600 and 200 fewer students, respectively.

China is the only country to send more students in 2020 than Colombia so far, with 7,885 student commencements – down 39.8% from 13,105 in the first six months of 2019.

Some 1,868 fewer Brazilian students joined ELICOS programs up until June 2020, down from 6,497 in 2019.

By states, Victoria witnessed the biggest relative fall of students until June commencing programs, with numbers falling 25.9%.

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory decreased by 25.1%, followed by Queensland and Northern Territory falling by 21.2%, Western Australia by 20.3% and South Australia by 18%.

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