World / Asia-Pacific

Chinese parents increasingly choosing Australian high schools

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-31 09:34

CANBERRA -- New Australian data shows China's rising middle class is increasingly sending their children to Australian high schools.

Data from the Department of Education and Training on Tuesday showed secondary school enrollments of Chinese teenagers in 2014 rose by almost 20 percent on the previous year's figures.

Almost 4,300 new enrollments took the total number of enrolled Chinese students at public and private high schools to 8,386 last year, up from 7,447 in 2013.

Australia is an education destination for many Chinese, with Chinese citizens making up 26 percent of all international students at Australia last year.

Indian students were second, making up 11 percent of the 583, 000 enrollments across all Australian institutions, with Vietnam, South Korea and Thailand all contributing around 4.5 percent each.

Gaining a pathway to Australian universities, as well as better English education, had families choosing Australia, according to Dr. Minglu Chen, a lecturer at the University of Sydney's China Studies Center.

"This is what we could expect from China's growing economy, which is at the moment the second largest economy in the world, which actually also has a growing middle class," Chen told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday. "Australia is not far from China. They are one of the most important Asia- Pacific neighbors.

Reasons for the rise have been attributed to lighter visa restrictions, Australian education ranking well on international scales and a weakening Australian dollar, which has lost 25 percent of value against the US dollar in two years.

Despite the dollar drop, the cost of sending children to Australian schools remains high.

Chinese parents pay about $10,000 per year for their children to study at public schools, while the cost of studying at a private school can be around three times as much.

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