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AEI’s International Student Data for 2011 show there were 557,425 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa. This is 59,039 fewer enrolments than in the same period in 2010, and represents a decline of 9.6 per cent. This compares with an average growth rate of 8.2 per cent for enrolments since 2002.
There were 298,842 commencements recorded in 2011, a decrease of 28,064 commencements on 2010 figures, representing an 8.6 per cent decline. This contrasts with an average growth rate of 7.1 per cent for commencements since 2002.
All of the top 10 nationalities in 2011 recorded declines on 2010 figures. The largest declines by volume of enrolments were from India (down 26,701 enrolments on the same period in 2010), China (down 9,174) and Nepal (down 4,153).
The top 10 nationalities collectively accounted for 70.6 per cent of all enrolments and have declined by 11.6 per cent (51,845 enrolments). In comparison, enrolments from the nationalities outside the top 10 declined by 4.2 per cent over the same period.
There was only one source country outside the top 10 recording growth of more than 1,000 enrolments: Pakistan (up 15.4%).
Conversely, five source countries outside the top 10 with more than 7,000 enrolments in 2011 recorded declines on 2010 figures: Japan (down 6.6%); USA (down 1.4%); Singapore (down 1.0%); Colombia (down 10.7%); and Taiwan (down 9.7%).
International students from Asia accounted for 77.4 per cent of enrolments, a slight decline from the 78.4 per cent in the same period in 2010. Overall, enrolments from the region declined 10.7 per cent in the same period. In comparison, enrolments from all other regions combined declined 5.3 per cent.
There were 28,064 fewer commencements in 2011 than in 2010. Eight of the top ten nationalities, by volume of commencements, recorded decreases in the reporting period. The largest declines by volume of commencements were from the top three commencements nationalities—China (down 9,285 commencements on the same period in 2010), India (down 7,072) and the Republic of Korea (down 2,165). The two top ten source countries that recorded an increase in commencements were Indonesia (up 127 commencements on 2010 figures) and Malaysia (up 21 commencements on 2010 figures).
The top ten source countries accounted for 68.4 per cent of all commencements in 2011 and declined 10.4 per cent on the previous year. In comparison, nationalities outside the top ten declined 4.3 per cent in 2010.
In addition, five of the seven source countries outside of the top 10 and with more than 3,500 commencements also recorded a decline in commencements in 2011 when compared with 2010: Japan (down 2.4%); Saudi Arabia (down 16.9%); Colombia (down 7.7%); Taiwan (down 11.2%); and Germany (down 19.6%). Conversely, commencements by students from Pakistan increased by 26.3% and from Singapore by 0.3%.
International student commencements from Asia accounted for 73.2 per cent of international student commencements, a slight decline from 74.0 per cent recorded in 2010. Between 2010 and 2011, commencements from the Asian region declined by 9.6 per cent. In comparison, the decline in commencements from all other regions was 5.7 per cent in the same period.
In 2011, the Higher Education sector was the only sector to record growth in enrolments. Enrolments in the sector were up 0.1 per cent on 2010. All sectors in 2011, recorded declines in commencements on 2010.
Higher Education ranked first by volume of enrolments and second by volume of commencements. Enrolments in the sector for 2011 were 0.1 per cent higher than in 2010. This contrasts with the average 2011 growth rate of 7.7 per cent per year since 2002. Commencements declined by 4.6 per cent in 2011, compared with an average annual growth rate of 5.0 per cent per year since 2002.
In 2011, enrolments at the under-graduate level of study were up by 3.1% but commencements were down by 2.6% on 2010 figures. Post-graduate research enrolments and commencements were up by 13.0% and 5.9% respectively over the same period. In contrast, other post-graduate enrolments and commencements declined 8.0% and 8.9% respectively.
China had the largest share of total enrolments (40.2%) and of total commencements (42.0%) in 2011. Malaysia was the second largest source country by enrolments with 7.4 per cent, followed by India and Vietnam with 6.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively.
In 2011, enrolments from China grew by 5.3 per cent. However, commencements declined by 4.7% on 2010 figures. In the same period, enrolments from Malaysia declined by 2.2 per cent and commencements by 4.5 per cent. India, the third largest market in the sector also recorded a decline in enrolments and in commencements (down 29.3 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively). Enrolments from Vietnam grew 13.0 per cent however; commencements declined by 0.1 per cent over the same period.
Asian countries collectively contributed 83.3 per cent of enrolments and 83.2 per cent of commencements. Compared with 2010, enrolments from this region increased by 0.2 per cent however; commencements declined by 3.7 per cent in 2011. Enrolments from all other regions combined declined by 0.4 per cent and commencements declined by 8.6 per cent over the same reference periods.
“Management and Commerce” was the most popular broad field of education with 51.1 per cent of enrolments and 53.6 per cent of commencements. The next most popular field was “Engineering and Related Technologies” with 8.8 per cent enrolments. “Information Technology” and “Society and Culture” accounted for a further 7.5 per cent and 7.4 per cent of enrolments respectively.
VET ranked second by volume of enrolments and first by volume of commencements. Enrolments for 2011 fell by 16.6 per cent on 2010 figures. This contrasts with an average growth rate of 16.1 per cent per year since 2002. Commencements for the same period declined by 7.3 per cent on 2010 figures and contrasts with an average growth rate of 16.9 per cent per year since 2002.
Enrolments at the diploma and advanced diploma levels of study in 2011 declined by 13.4 per cent on previous year’s figures and commencements at those levels also decreased 3.7 per cent over the same period.
Enrolments from the five largest source nationalities all recorded declines. The declines from each of the top three nationalities were: India by 26.0 per cent, China by 16.4 per cent and Thailand by 6.9 per cent. Commencements from the three top source nationalities have also declined: India by 17.3 per cent, China by 5.5 per cent and Thailand by 6.3 per cent.
Asian countries contributed 81.5 per cent of enrolments and 79.5 per cent of commencements. India had the largest share of total enrolments (32.4%) and of total commencements (28.7%) in 2011. China was the next largest source country by enrolments with 10.8 per cent, followed by Thailand with 6.6 per cent.
“Management and Commerce” was the largest broad field of education in VET with 51.5 per cent of enrolments and 57.7 per cent of commencements in 2011. Enrolments and commencements in this field grew 7.3 per cent and 12.2 per cent respectively. “Food, Hospitality and Personal Services” ranked second however, enrolments in this field declined by 47.3 per cent and commencements by 44.7 per cent. “Society and Culture” was the third largest broad field of education and recorded a 23.5 per cent decline in enrolments and a 4.5 per cent decline in commencements.
ELICOS ranked third by volume of enrolments and of commencements. Enrolments and commencements in the sector in 2011 have declined 16.3 per cent and 13.5 per cent respectively on the same period in 2010. This compares with average growth rates of 5.8 per cent for enrolments and 6.2 per cent for commencements since 2002.
The Asian region contributed 63.3 per cent of enrolments and 62.8 per cent of commencements in ELICOS. Those measures declined by 19.6 per cent and 16.4 per cent respectively on 2010 figures. Enrolments and commencements from all other regions combined also declined, by 10.1 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively.
Enrolments and commencements from all of the top twelve ELICOS source countries in 2011 declined on figures from 2010. China was the largest market with a 29.1 per cent share of enrolments and 28.0 per cent of commencements. Chinese enrolments and commencements declined, by 21.5 per cent and 19.1 per cent respectively.
Enrolments and commencements from Brazil, the second largest ELICOS market, also declined. Brazilian enrolments declined by 5.1 per cent and commencements by 5.4 per cent. The Republic of Korea was the third largest market. Korean enrolments and commencements declined 19.9 per cent and 19.7 per cent respectively.
The ELICOS market from India has declined markedly in the last three years. In 2009, Indian enrolments and commencements were ranked 2nd however by 2011, India was ranked 11th in both enrolments and commencements. Indian enrolments in the sector declined 28.2 per cent and commencements declined 16.8 per cent between 2010 and 2011.
The schools sector ranked fifth by volume of enrolments and of commencements, contributing 3.7 per cent of enrolments and 3.1 per cent of commencements. Compared with 2010, enrolments for 2011 declined by 13.6 per cent while commencements decreased by 14.9 per cent.
The Asian region contributed 86.0 per cent of enrolments and 78.2 per cent of commencements. China was the largest market with 44.3 per cent of enrolments and 41.9 per cent of commencements. Enrolments and commencements from this market declined, by 14.2 per cent and 13.0 per cent respectively. The Republic of Korea was the second largest market with 13.9 per cent of enrolments and 11.6 per cent of commencements, and recorded declines of 20.9 per cent and 22.9 per cent respectively. Vietnam was the third largest schools market with a share of 10.5 per cent of enrolments and 7.7 per cent share of commencements. Enrolments and commencements from Vietnam declined 9.2 per cent and 20.0 per cent respectively.
This sector ranks fourth by volume of enrolments and commencements. In 2011, this sector contributed 5.0 per cent of enrolments and 7.3 per cent of commencements. Enrolments in the sector declined by 10.3 per cent and commencements declined 11.3 per cent on 2010 figures.
The Asian region accounted for 41.7 per cent of enrolments and 33.6 per cent of commencements. China was the largest contributing nationality for enrolments and second largest for commencements (24.6 per cent and 19.0 per cent respectively). However, China recorded declines in both enrolments and commencements (down 16.7 per cent and 23.0 per cent respectively). The USA was the second largest contributing nationality for enrolments and the largest for commencements (22.7 per cent and 28.5 per cent); and recorded declines in both measures (2.5 per cent each).
(Source: Australian Education International)
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 '2011 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 104KB) are available to download.
Table 1: All Sectors
Table 2: ELICOS
Table 3: Higher Education
Table 4: VET
Table 5: Schools
Table 6: Other
Note: Items marked with 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.
NOTE - As many universities commenced Semester 1 of 2011 on Monday 28 February, comparisons with previous years' data (where Semester 1 began in March) may be misleading.
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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 are available only to organisations who have access to Austrade's Market Information Package (MIP).
Explanatory notes for Enrolment Data
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