The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirms almost 143,000 students arrived in February, 93,270 more than in the same month last year.
Provisional estimates indicate a further 54,350 students entered Australia in March.
“This is good news for our universities and the nation,” Universities Australia acting Chief Executive Peter Chesworth said.
“The return of international students boosts campus life and generates significant economic activity, benefitting not only universities but local businesses and communities.
“Education is a serious economic driver and added more than $40 billion to the economy pre-COVID, helping to pay for the essential services Australians need and enjoy.
“Australia’s offer of education to international students is also a powerful tool for building cultural understanding and longstanding relationships.
“We are steadily working back to the position of strength we held prior to the pandemic. The sooner we get there the better – for the benefit of our universities and all Australians.”