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International Student Data

International Student Enrolments for 2010

AEI’s International Student Data for 2010 shows there were 619,119 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa over the full calendar year. This is 11,544 fewer enrolments than in 2009, and represents a decline of 1.8 per cent. This compares with an average annual growth rate of 10.7 per cent for enrolments since 2002.

There were 329,352 commencements recorded in 2010, a fall of 34,923 on 2009 figures, representing a 9.6 per cent decline. This compares with an average annual growth rate of 9.4 per cent for commencements since 2002.

Nationality

Enrolments

Of the top 10 nationalities by volume of enrolments, 5 recorded increases and 5 recorded declines between 2009 and 2010. There was an increase of 14,112 enrolments for the markets that grew and 27,367 fewer enrolments from the markets that declined. Overall, the top 10 nationalities collectively accounted for 72.0 per cent of all enrolments, but have declined by 2.9 per cent.

International student enrolments by nationality (top 10 markets), 2010

Nationality Enrolments % of total Growth on 2009
China 167,767 27.1% 6.7%
India 100,310 16.2% -16.8%
Republic of Korea 33,986 5.5% -4.7%
Vietnam 25,788 4.2% 8.8%
Thailand 24,882 4.0% -5.7%
Malaysia 23,247 3.8% 0.6%
Nepal 22,019 3.6% -10.3%
Indonesia 18,378 3.0% 3.2%
Brazil 16,072 2.6% -8.5%
Saudi Arabia 13,271 2.1% 6.7%
Other nationalities 173,399 28.0% 1.0%
All nationalities 619,119 100.0% -1.8%

There were 4 source countries outside the top 10 recording growth of 500 or more enrolments: Pakistan (up 11.5%), the Philippines (up 21.6%), Iran (up 23.9%) and Libya (up 145.0% from a smaller base).

Conversely, six source countries outside the top 10 with more than 5,000 enrolments in 2010 recorded declines on 2009 figures: Japan (down 6.0%), USA (down 2.5%), Taiwan (down 5.7%), Sri Lanka (down 9.4%), Hong Kong (down 17.3%) and Bangladesh (down 4.7%). International students from Asia accounted for 78.4 per cent of enrolments, relatively unchanged from the 79.2 per cent in 2009.

Overall, enrolments from the region declined by 2.8 per cent in the last year. In comparison, enrolments from all other regions combined grew by 2.0 per cent in the same period.

Commencements

Commencements fell by 34,923 between 2009 and 2010. Of the top 10 nationalities by volume of commencements, all but China recorded declines in this period. These top 10 markets accounted for 69.8 per cent of all commencements in 2010 but contributed to 97.3 per cent of the overall decline in commencements when compared with the previous year.

International student commencements by nationality (top 10 markets), 2010

Nationality Commencements % of total Growth on 2009
China 89,949 27.3% 0.2%
India 42,576 12.9% -36.8%
Republic of Korea 19,238 5.8% -5.7%
Thailand 15,091 4.6% -8.6%
Vietnam 14,200 4.3% -5.4%
Brazil 11,826 3.6% -6.1%
Nepal 9,895 3.0% -27.4%
Malaysia 9,537 2.9% -9.6%
Indonesia 9,107 2.8% -0.8%
USA 8,489 2.6% -3.9%
Other nationalities 99,444 30.2% -0.9%
All nationalities 329,352 100.0% -9.6%

In addition, seven of the ten source countries outside of the top 10 with more than 3,000 commencements also recorded declines between 2009 and 2010: Saudi Arabia (down 5.4%), Japan (down 4.5%), Colombia (down 1.4%), Taiwan (down 7.6%), Singapore (down 4.4%), Bangladesh (down 1.7%) and Sri Lanka (down 18.6%).

International student commencements from Asia accounted for 74.1 per cent of international student commencements, slightly down on the 76.6 per cent recorded in 2009. Between 2009 and 2010, commencements from the Asian region declined by 12.5 per cent. In contrast, commencements from all other regions combined remained flat in the same period.

(Source: Australian Education International)

Sector

Methodology change to AEI International Student Data series
AEI’s International Student Data definition of sector has been modified to reflect changes introduced by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). As of 1st January 2011 students studying diplomas accredited by Higher Education (HE) providers will enter Australia on a Higher Education student visa subclass rather than the Vocational Education and Training (VET) visa subclass, which is consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). To reflect these changes AEI has revised the International Student Data, going back to 2002. The new methodology produces a shift of approximately 25,000 enrolments and 13,000 commencements from VET to HE in 2010 (when compared with the previous definition of sector).

International student enrolments for 2010 grew in the Higher Education sector. The sector was also the only sector to record an increase in commencements over the same period in 2009 (up 1.0%).

International Student Enrolments and Commencements by Sector, 2010

Enrolments Commencements
Sector Number % of total Growth
on 2009
Number % of total Growth
on 2009
Higher Education 243,591 39.3% 7.8% 102,538 31.1% 1.0%
VET 206,581 33.4% -0.7% 107,752 32.7% -8.9%
ELICOS 113,477 18.3% -17.5% 83,604 25.4% -21.1%
Schools 24,235 3.9% -11.5% 10,882 3.3% -16.1%
Other 31,235 5.0% -1.6% 24,576 7.5% -3.6%
All sectors 619,119 100.0% -1.8% 329,352 100% -9.6%

Higher Education

Higher Education ranked first by volume of enrolments and second by volume of commencements. Enrolments in the sector grew by 7.8 per cent between 2009 and 2010. This is below the average annual growth rate of 8.7 per cent per year since 2002. Commencements grew by 1.0 per cent between 2009 and 2010, compared with an average annual growth rate of 6.5 per cent per year since 2002.

China had the largest share of total enrolments (37.6%) and of total commencements (41.8%) in 2010. India was the second largest source country by enrolments with 9.1 per cent, followed by Malaysia and Vietnam with 7.6 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively.

Enrolments and commencements from China grew by 18.8 per cent and 16.0 per cent respectively between 2009 and 2010. By contrast enrolments and commencements from India declined by 21.1 per cent and 48.2 per cent respectively. Malaysia and Vietnam recorded increases of 2.0 per cent and 31.9 per cent in enrolments; however commencements for Malaysia declined 11.0 per cent and grew 20.8% for Vietnam over the same period.

Asian countries collectively contributed 83.3 per cent of enrolments and 82.4 per cent of commencements. Enrolments from this region grew by 7.1 per cent and commencements by 0.2 per cent between 2009 and 2010. Enrolments in all other regions combined grew by 11.4 per cent; commencements grew by 4.7 per cent.

“Management and Commerce” was the most popular broad field of education with 51.6 per cent of enrolments and 54.1 per cent of commencements. All other broad field of education individually contributed less than 10.0 per cent of enrolments or commencements.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

VET ranked second by volume of enrolments and first by volume of commencements. Enrolments fell by 0.7 per cent between 2009 and 2010. This compares with an annual average growth rate of 21.1 per cent per year since 2002. Commencements in 2010 declined by 8.9 per cent on 2009 figures, compared with an average annual growth rate of 20.4 per cent per year since 2002.

Asian countries contributed 83.7 per cent of enrolments and 81.2 per cent of commencements. India had the largest share of total enrolments (36.6%) and of total commencements (32.3%) in 2010. China was the second largest source country by enrolments with 10.7 per cent, followed by Nepal and Thailand with 7.7 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively.

Enrolments and commencements from the three largest nationalities all recorded declines. Enrolments from India declined by 3.5 per cent and those from China and Nepal declined 4.0 per cent and 14.2 per cent respectively. Commencements for each nationality declined 22.2 per cent, 5.9 percent and 36.5 per cent. Conversely, enrolments from Thailand grew 10.4 per cent and commencements by 17.0 per cent.

“Management and Commerce” was the largest broad field of education in VET with 42.6 per cent of enrolments and 48.0 per cent of commencements in 2010. Enrolments and commencements in this field grew 0.6 per cent and 23.2 per cent respectively. “Food, Hospitality and Personal Services” ranked second in both measures however, enrolments in this field declined by 4.2 per cent and commencements by 35.1 per cent. “Society and Culture” was the third largest broad field of education and also recorded declines in both enrolments and commencements (down 11.1% and 21.7% respectively).

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

ELICOS ranked third by volume of enrolments and commencements. Enrolments and commencements for the sector have declined 17.5 per cent and 21.1 per cent respectively between 2009 and 2010. This compares with average annual growth rates of 8.9 per cent each for both enrolments and commencements since 2002.

The Asian region contributed 65.8 per cent of enrolments and 64.9 per cent of commencements in ELICOS. Between 2009 and 2010 enrolments and commencements from Asia declined by 22.7 per cent and 27.5 per cent respectively. Enrolments and commencements from all other regions combined also declined, by 5.3 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively.

China was the largest ELICOS market with a 30.9 per cent share of enrolments and 30.0 per cent of commencements. Chinese enrolments and commencements declined, by 5.3 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively. The ten largest enrolment markets after China all recorded declines in both enrolments and in commencements.

In 2009, India was the second largest source country for ELICOS enrolments and commencements. In the year since then, the market from India declined 84.3 per cent in enrolments and 84.7 per cent in commencements, resulting in a ranking drop to tenth place in both measures in 2010.

Schools

The schools sector ranked fifth by volume of both enrolments and commencements, contributing 3.9 per cent of enrolments and 3.3 per cent of commencements. Enrolments declined by 11.5 per cent between 2009 and 2010, while commencements decreased by 16.1 per cent.

The Asian region contributed 85.9 per cent of enrolments and 77.3 per cent of commencements. China was the largest market with 43.9 per cent of enrolments and 40.9 per cent of commencements. Enrolments and commencements from this market declined, by 17.1 per cent and 19.7 per cent respectively. The Republic of Korea was the second largest market with 15.3 percent of enrolments and 13.0 per cent of commencements, and recorded declines of 16.6 per cent and 21.2 per cent respectively. Vietnam is the third largest schools market with a share of 10.0 per cent of enrolments and 8.1 per cent share of commencements. Enrolments from Vietnam grew 1.7 per cent but commencements declined 22.6 per cent.

Other

This sector ranks fourth by volume of enrolments and commencements. In 2010, this sector contributed 5.0 per cent of enrolments and 7.5 per cent of commencements. Between 2009 and 2010, enrolments and commencements declined, by 1.6 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.

The Asian region accounted for 45.5 per cent of enrolments and 38.3 per cent of commencements. China, the largest contributing nationality for enrolments (26.8%), recorded growth of 15.2 per cent in enrolments and 6.3 per cent in commencements. The USA was the largest contributing nationality for commencements (25.7%) however, this market recorded declines in both enrolments and commencements (7.2% each).

(Source: Australian Education International)

2010 Monthly Summaries of International Student Enrolment Data

(Source: Australian Education International)

Monthly Time Series of Student Enrolments for 2010– Summaries by Sector

The following tables give a month by month analysis of international student data by sector including information on enrolments, commencements, finishes and year to date totals. More detailed data are contained in the '2010 Detailed Monthly Tables' section below.

Please click on the images below to view the tables individually or a full set of the tables 1 to 6 (pdf 167KB) are available to download.

  • Table 1: All Sectors
    Table 1: All Sectors
  • Table 2: ELICOS
    Table 2: ELICOS
  • Table 3: Higher Education
    Table 3: Higher Education
  • Table 4: VET
    Table 4: VET
  • Table 5: Schools
    Table 5: Schools
  • Table 6: Other
    Table 6: Other

(Source: Australian Education International)

2010 Detailed Monthly Tables

The detailed monthly tables expand on the information provided in tables one to six. These tables include information on monthly enrolments, commencements and year to date data. Monthly data adds new enrolments for the month to the number at the start of month.

Tables 7 to 12 contain information about each Sector by top 10 Nationalities and State and Territory. These tables count the year-to-date activity up to and including the reference month.

The data in the following tables is updated throughout the year resulting in some revision to previously published data.

Note: Items marked with Only available to organisations that have access to the Market Information Package (MIP) are available only to organisations who have access to Austrade's Market Information Package (MIP).

(Source: Australian Education International)

2010 Pivot Tables

Note: Items marked with Only available to organisations that have access to the Market Information Package (MIP) are available only to organisations that have access to Austrade's Market Information Package (MIP).

In an effort to reduce the size of downloads, a subset of the data from 2007 onwards has been created. The full time series from 2002 onwards is available in the indicated links (as larger downloads). The pivot table is compatible with Excel 2003 or later.

(Source: Australian Education International)

Explanatory Notes

Explanatory notes for Enrolment Data