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International Student Data

2008 International Student Enrolments

International Student Enrolments Up 20.7 per cent in 2008

International student data for 2008 shows there were 543,898 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa. This represents an increase of 20.7 per cent on 2007 enrolments. In 2008 year-to-date enrolments exceeded 500,000 for the first time.

There were 324,215 commencements in 2008, an increase of 24.8 per cent on 2007.

Enrolment nationality statistics

Enrolments grew by 93,339 between 2007 and 2008. Of the top 10 markets by enrolment volume, 9 recorded increases between 2007 and 2008. These markets collectively accounted for 71.2 per cent of all enrolments, and grew by 25.7 per cent.

Top 10 nationalities for International Student Enrolments in 2008

Nationality Enrolments % of total Growth on 2007
China 127,276 23.4% 19.7%
India 97,035 17.8% 54.2%
Republic of Korea 35,376 6.5% 3.2%
Thailand 22,278 4.1% 12.9%
Malaysia 21,134 3.9% 7.1%
Nepal 18,063 3.3% 99.0%
Hong Kong 18,012 3.3% -5.6%
Indonesia 16,063 3.0% 8.5%
Brazil 16,028 2.9% 28.6%
Vietnam 15,931 2.9% 65.2%
Other nationalities 156,702 28.8% 10.0%
All nationalities 543,898 100.0% 20.7%

Markets outside the top 10 recording growth of more than 1000 enrolments were: Saudi Arabia (113.2 per cent growth), Colombia (42.0 per cent), Mauritius (69.4 per cent), Sri Lanka (21.4 per cent) and Pakistan (28.8 per cent). These markets have all been growing since 2005.

Five markets with more than 6000 enrolments recorded declines between 2007 and 2008:

Hong Kong (down 5.6 per cent), Japan (down 16.0 per cent), USA (down 2.0 per cent), Taiwan (down 5.5 per cent) and Bangladesh (down 9.6 per cent). Hong Kong has been declining since 2004, Japan and USA since 2005, Taiwan since 2007 and Bangladesh declined between 2007 and 2008.

79.1 per cent of international student enrolments came from the Asian region, up from 78.7 per cent in 2007. Enrolments from this region grew by 21.5 per cent in 2008. In comparison enrolments from all other regions combined grew by 18.0 per cent.

(Source: Australian Education International)

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Commencements

Commencements increased by 64,352 between 2007 and 2008. Of the top 10 nationalities by volume of commencements, 9 recorded increases in 2008. These markets collectively accounted for 71.1 per cent of all commencements and grew by 30.8 per cent.

Top 10 nationalities for International Student Commencements in 2008

Nationality Commencements % of total Growth on 2007
China 73,485 22.7% 26.5%
India 60,240 18.6% 55.5%
Republic of Korea 20,931 6.5% 3.3%
Thailand 13,637 4.2% 16.5%
Nepal 11,985 3.7% 66.8%
Brazil 11,949 3.7% 31.0%
Vietnam 10,569 3.3% 79.3%
Malaysia 9,621 3.0% 13.4%
USA 9,559 2.9% -1.5%
Indonesia 8,397 2.6% 22.2%
Other nationalities 93,842 28.9% 12.0%
All nationalities 324,215 100.0% 24.8%

Markets outside the top 10 recording growth of more than 1000 commencements were Saudi Arabia (113.2 per cent growth), Mauritius (108.8 per cent) and Colombia (34.5 per cent). Saudi Arabia has been growing since 2002; Mauritius and Colombia since 2005.

Outside the top 10 markets, 4 markets with more than 2000 commencements recorded declines on 2007 figures: Hong Kong (down 2.8 per cent), Japan (down 18.2 per cent), Taiwan (down 4.7 per cent) and Bangladesh (down 18.7 per cent). Hong Kong has been declining since 2002; Japan since 2005. The other markets have a more variable profile with overall decreases in 2008.

76.6 per cent of international student commencements came from the Asian region, up from 75.7 per cent in 2007. Commencements from the Asian region grew by 26.1 per cent with growth of 20.5 per cent for all other regions combined.

(Source: Australian Education International)

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Sectors

Increases in both enrolments and commencements by international students were recorded across all sectors in 2008.

2008 International Student Enrolments and commencements by sector

Enrolments Commencements
Sector Number % of total Growth
on 2008
Number % of total Growth
on 2007
Higher Education 182,770 33.6% 4.7% 78,070 24.1% 11.8%
VET 175,324 32.2% 46.4% 106,180 32.7% 46.1%
ELICOS 125,727 23.1% 23.4% 99,312 30.6% 22.8%
Schools 28,798 5.3% 7.1% 14,537 4.5% 6.6%
Other 31,142 5.7% 13.6% 26,116 8.1% 14.3%
All sectors 543,898 100.0% 20.7% 324,215 100% 24.8%

Higher Education

Higher education ranked first by volume of enrolments and third by volume of commencements. Enrolments grew by 58.5 per cent between 2002 and 2008, and by 4.7 per cent between 2007 and 2008. Commencements grew by 37.8 per cent between 2002 and 2008, and by 11.8 per cent between 2007 and 2008.

China dominated the higher education market by volume of enrolments (28.2 per cent) and volume of commencements (29.1 per cent). India was the second largest market with 15.2 per cent and 15.7 per cent respectively. No other markets in this sector individually contributed more than 10.0 per cent.

Asian markets comprised the top 11 positions by nationality, and collectively the region accounted for 83.6 per cent of enrolments and 82.7 per cent of commencements. Enrolments in this region grew by 4.6 per cent and commencements by 12.0 per cent between 2007 and 2008. Growth for all other regions collectively was 5.0 per cent for enrolments and 10.8 per cent for commencements.

“Management and Commerce” dominated the broad field of education with 48.5 per cent of enrolments and 49.9 per cent of commencements. All other broad fields of education in this sector individually contributed less than 10.0 per cent.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

VET ranked second by volume of enrolments and first by volume of commencements. VET enrolments and commencements were the fastest growing of all sectors. Enrolments grew by 226.9 per cent between 2002 and 2008, and by 46.4 per cent between 2007 and 2008. Commencements grew by 261.1 per cent between 2002 and 2008, and by 46.1 per cent between 2007 and 2008. Both enrolments and commencements show rates of significantly increasing growth since 2002.

Asian markets dominated activity with 82.9 per cent of enrolments and 82.6 per cent of commencements. India was the top market with a 29.9 per cent share of enrolments and a 30.9 per cent share of commencements, followed by China with shares of 14.5 per cent and 14.4 per cent respectively. No other markets in this sector individually contributed more than 10.0 per cent.

Nepal ranked third in both enrolments and commencements in VET and has been growing strongly in recent years. Between 2007 and 2008 enrolments grew by 138.7 per cent and commencements by 93.1 per cent.

“Management and Commerce” dominated the broad field of education in VET with 54.8 per cent of enrolments and 51.1 per cent of commencements. “Food, Hospitality and Personal Services” ranked second, contributing 16.9 per cent and 19.3 per cent followed by “Society and Culture” with contributions of 9.7 per cent and 10.6 per cent respectively. All other broad fields of education contributed less than 10.0 per cent.

ELICOS (English Language Courses for Overseas Students)

ELICOS ranked third by volume of enrolments and second by volume of commencements. Enrolments grew by 118.9 per cent between 2002 and 2008, and by 23.4 per cent between 2007 and 2008. Commencements grew by 135.9 per cent between 2002 and 2008 and by 22.8 per cent between 2007 and 2008.

China was the dominant market with a 25.0 per cent share of enrolments and 21.9 per cent share of commencements. India ranked second in this sector with 12.7 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.

Activity from the Asian region accounted for 73.8 per cent of enrolments and 74.1 per cent of commencements, and recorded growth of 20.7 per cent and 21.1 per cent respectively.

Schools

The schools sector was the smallest of all sectors by volume, comprising 5.3 per cent of enrolments and 4.5 per cent of commencements. Enrolments grew by 7.1 per cent between 2007 and 2008; commencements by 6.6 per cent.

China accounted for 47.4 per cent of enrolments in the schools sector. The influence of China on the growth in the schools sector is considerable. Based on 2008 data, if activity from China were removed, the sector would have recorded a decrease in growth of 3.8 per cent for enrolments and 3.6 per cent for commencements.

Other

Courses that do not confer a qualification under the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) are categorised as “Other”. This sector can include exchange students in Australia or students enrolling in enabling courses to enable them to subsequently undertake formal AQF qualifications.

This sector ranks fourth by volume of enrolments and commencements. In 2008 this sector contributed 5.7 per cent of enrolments and 8.1 per cent of commencements. Enrolments in this sector grew by 13.6 per cent between 2007 and 2008, and commencements by 14.3 per cent.

The USA accounts for 25.2 per cent of enrolments and 29.6 per cent of commencements. China accounts for 16.4 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively. All other nationalities contributed less than 10 per cent.

About this data set

AEI enrolment data are extracted from the PRISMS database which is updated continually by education providers and by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Consequently, when AEI makes a new dataset available it contains updated data for previous months as well. Data on enrolments and commencements relate only to international students in Australia on a student visa. An enrolment is a count of any student enrolments in a discrete course of study and includes ongoing students. A commencement is a count of new student enrolments in a discrete course of study (and hence is a subset of the total count of enrolments).

Note: That AEI introduced the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) into the International Student Data series in 2008. The Classification defines ‘Field of Education’ as being the subject matter of an educational activity. The introduction of ASCED provides a finer level of detail about the course of study undertaken by international students than with the former ‘Broad field of study’ classification. The older classification will be phased out after the YTD December 2008 data release.

Contacts:

Email: mip@austrade.gov.au

(Source: Australian Education International)

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Monthly Time Series of Student Enrolments for 2008 – 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 '2008 Detailed Monthly Tables' section below.

Changes to the monthly data

AEI has made some changes to AEI international student enrolment data to enhance the usefulness of the data to industry. In reponse to industry feedback about the reliablility of current finishes data, these data have been removed from Tables 1 to 6. AEI will investigate whether a more accurate indicator can be used to determine the reason for an enrolment ceasing.

Please click on the images below to view the tables individually or a full set of the tables 1 to 6 (pdf 116KB) 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)

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2008 Annual Pivot Table

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).

Changes to the monthly data

AEI has made some changes to AEI international student enrolment data to enhance the usefulness of the data to industry.

The VTE sector has now been renamed to VET.

In reponse to industry feedback about the reliablility of current finishes data, these data have been removed from the detailed pivot table. AEI will investigate whether a more accurate indicator can be used to determine the reason for an enrolment ceasing.

The initial display of the pivot table has been re-designed to improve manipulation of the table.

The pivot tables are compatible with Excel 2003 or later.

2008 Basic Annual
Pivot Table

(zip 7.9MB)
Includes the variables State and Territory, Sector, Nationality, Month and Year for year-to-date enrolments and commencements.
2008 Standard Annual Pivot Table Only available to organisations that have access to the Market Information Package (MIP)
(zip 14.3MB
unzipped 98MB)
Includes those available in the Basic Pivot Table and also includes Broad Field of Education, Level of Study, Region and Provider Type.
2008 Detailed Annual Pivot Table Only available to organisations that have access to the Market Information Package (MIP)
(zip 23.4MB,
unzipped 159MB)
Includes those available in the Basic Pivot Table and also includes Broad Field of Education, Narrow Field of Education, Detailed Field of Education, Level of study, Region and Provider type.

Please contact mip@austrade.gov.au if you experience any technical difficulties.

(Source: Australian Education International)

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2008 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. The focus of these tables has changed from counting the enrolment and commencement activity during the reference month to counting 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).

2008 Tables 7 to 12 (PDF) 2008 Tables 13 to 26 (PDF) Only available to organisations that have access to the Market Information Package (MIP) 2008 Tables
7 to 26 (Excel) Only available to organisations that have access to the Market Information Package (MIP)
January 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 173KB)
January 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 536KB)
January 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.52MB
February 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 173KB)
February 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 604KB)
February 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.58MB
March 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 172KB)
March 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 595KB)
March 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.59MB
April 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 179KB)
April 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 598KB)
April 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.59MB
May 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 173KB)
May 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 596KB)
May 2008– Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.59MB
June 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 179KB)
June 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 590KB)
June 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.60MB
July 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 179KB)
July 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 636KB)
July 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.63MB
August 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 179KB)
August 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 624KB)
August 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.62MB
September 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 172KB)
September 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 623KB)
September 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.52MB
October 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 173KB)
October 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 625KB)
October 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.63MB
November 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 173KB)
November 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 626KB)
November 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2.65MB
December 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-12
(pdf 173KB)
December 2008 – Monthly Tables 13-26
(pdf 618KB)
December 2008 – Monthly Tables 7-26_xls
2MB

(Source: Australian Education International)

Explanatory Notes

Explanatory notes for Enrolment Data

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The Market Information Package (MIP) provides market intelligence, opportunities, analysis and student data to support Australia’s international education sector.

About the Market Information Package

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