June 20, 2020

Japanese Customer: Study pathways of Japanese international students in Australia - summary of AEI Research paper 2007/1


The study pathways of Japanese students to Australian education institutions is an important way to understand their buyer behaviour and learn more about this large and influential student market.

The following article is a summary of the AEI International research paper"Study pathways of international students in Australia" 2007/1 focusing specifically on the results as they apply to the Japanese student market.

The research focused on two cohorts of international students One cohort of students who commenced study in the year and were tracked from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2005 and a second cohort who commenced study in 2004 and were tracked from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2006.

The results from Table 5 show single sector students 2002 commencements and reveal that Japanese students at the time made up 7.6% of all nationalities, represented a total of 5,159 students and were found to be studying across a range of education sectors including Higher Education 10%, VET 14.4%, ELICOS 59.5%, Schools 9.2% and Other 6.9%. Japanese students represented the second-lowest number of students in the top ten nationalities in Higher education, they represented the highest number of students in VET across all top 10 nationalities, was the third most important student market for ELICOS, were the fifth most important market for Schools and the fourth most important market in the "Other" category (for example non-award and or study abroad programs).

The same table also shows the results of the 2004 commencements and reveals that total student numbers dropped from 5159 in 2002 to 5001 in 2004. The total proportion of students dropped from 7.6% in 2002 to 7.5% in 2004. The proportion of Japanese in Higher Education fell 5%, from 10% in 2002 to 5% in 2004. The proportion of students in VET reduced from 14.4% to 13.2%, The proportion of students in ELICOS increased from 2002 to 2004 from 59.5% to 65% the proportion of those studying in the Schools sector decreased from 9.2% in 2002 to 8.7% in 2004. The proportion of students undertaking study in the "Other" sector increased from 6.9% in 2002 to 8.0% in 2004.


At a quick glance, it seems that in 2002 and 2004 ELICOS and VET were the most preferred sectors by Japanese students. This may be due to the fact that ELICOS gives Japanese students confidence and that leads to further study. Many VET colleges have an ELICOS program and it is easy for the student to continue at the same institution.

In terms of multiple sector students, table 6 revealed the top ten nationalities and most common pathways for the top ten nationalities. In 2002 commencements, Japanese students ranked fifth, 46% of Japanese students chose an ELICOS -VET pathway, 14.4% chose and ELICOS - Higher Education pathway and 14.3% followed an ELICOS - Schools pathway. In the 2004 commencements, the figures are surprisingly similar. Japanese students kept their rank of fifth in the top 10 nationalities by commencements, ELICOS -VET pathway represented 42.9%, ELICOS-Higher Education represented 14.4% (unchanged) and ELICOS Schools up by three percent to 9.9%.

The low number of Japanese students moving from ELICOS to Higher Education may be due to difficulties of entry to University programs. Possible reasons may include non-recognition of prior tertiary study in Japan and difficulty meeting IELTS requirements for the English language.




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