Explanatory notes for international student enrolment data

 

On this page:

  • What is the international student data?
  • Data categories
  • Attribute categories
  • Counting methodology
  • Sector allocation
  •  


     

    What is the international student data?

     

    Where does the international student data come from?

    Enrolment data is derived from the Commonwealth Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) database. PRISMS includes:

  • enrolment data for all sectors (schools, Vocational Education, Higher Education and ELICOS)
  • enrolments by students on a student visa
  • data based on electronic confirmation of enrolments (eCoE), and
  • country of origin based on citizenship rather than permanent home residence.
  • Data is initially uploaded into PRISMS by educational providers when an enrolment is offered to a prospective student before a visa is granted, and again when a student obtains and uses their visa to enter Australia and starts studying. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) updates PRISMS as students enter or leave Australia or change their visa or residence status. Providers also update PRISMS when students change courses or fail to comply with student visa requirements. PRISMS receives data electronically every night from DIBP as student visas are granted or cancelled and as students are recorded on DIBP systems as entering Australia. Only enrolments that represent students who have actually started studying in Australia are counted in international student enrolment data.

    Enrolments versus students

    International student enrolment data generally does not represent the number of overseas students in Australia or the number of student visas issued in different countries. Instead data counts actual course enrolments. The exception is the data at the beginning of a month which represents a close approximation to the number of students enrolled on that day.

    How are enrolments counted?

    A student attending two different courses in the same reference period (for example ELICOS and Bachelor Degree) will have both enrolments counted. Students will be counted as enrolled in Australia even if they have left Australia temporarily for example during end of year holidays. Students are not recorded as enrolled in Australia if for example they are moving between institutions at the date of reporting and their new course details have yet to be entered by institutions.

    The monthly total of enrolments combine continuing enrolments from the previous month with new enrolments commencing during the month.

    What is a commencement?

    A commencement is a new student enrolment in a particular course at a particular institution.

    How is nationality recorded?

    International student enrolment data allocates a student’s nationality based on citizenship data uploaded into PRISMS from both DIBP and educational institutions. This may not coincide with their country of home residence. The 'Other' category caters for refugees, stateless people and errors in data entry.

    How is sector allocated?

    Enrolments are allocated to sectors on the basis of their course level within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Courses not covered by the AQF are allocated to 'Other'. However, ELICOS enrolments are treated differently. All courses identified as 'English language' field of study are allocated to the ELICOS sector irrespective of the AQF level of course.

    How is provider type identified?

    Some of the detailed monthly tables give a government/non-government split based on the way institutions are identified on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This distinction does not equate to identifying the balance of public and private provision. Some institutions that would normally be recognised as public institutions have private arms which deliver some of their programmes including for example, ELICOS courses.

    What types of international students does the international student enrolment data include?

    International student enrolment data covers onshore international students studying on student visas only (visa subclasses from 570 to 575). It does not include overseas students on Australian funded scholarships or sponsorships or students undertaking study while holding a tourist or other temporary entry visas (or their dependants). New Zealand students are not included in this data as they do not require a student visa to study in Australia.

    Earlier data

    International student enrolment data, derived from the PRISMS database, is available from 2002.  Earlier data is available but is not strictly comparable with data from 2002. These earlier statistics are derived from the Overseas Student Statistics Collection (OSSC). The overseas student statistics in the OSSC were compiled from visa data supplied by DIBP, and in the case of higher education data, primarily from the Higher Education Statistics Collection (HESC).

    Anything else you should know?

    Users of the international student enrolment data should be aware:

  • Data is extracted on a monthly basis. As PRISMS is constantly updated, there will be slight variations in enrolment data across different extract dates.
  • As noted above, the data classifies providers into government and non-government based on advice from state and territory accrediting authorities.
  • Enrolment records broken by 14 days or less are joined together where the enrolment is at the same sector, level of study and field of study.
  • Non-ELICOS students who repeat courses after a break of 12 months from the end of their last enrolment are treated as an additional enrolment.
  • Any period of study identified as persisting for no longer than 10 per cent of the expected course duration is not counted in the data; and
  • The data does not include information about whether students passed their course or received their qualification. Enrolments by students who do not complete or withdraw late are included. In each case the actual period of enrolment is reflected in the data.
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    Data categories

     

    The following are descriptions of the data categories in the monthly international student data.

    YTD enrolments

    The running total of international student enrolments for the calendar year, for example, YTD enrolments to September 2006, is the total of the enrolments for each month from January 2006 to September 2006.

    YTD commencements

    The running total of international student commencements for the calendar year, for example YTD Commencements to March 2005 is the total of the commencements for each month from January 2005 to March 2005.

    Enrolments for month

    The total number of international student enrolments in the month. This is the sum of enrolments at the first of month plus commencements for the month.

    Commencements for month

    The number of international student commencements during the month. A commencement is a new student enrolment in a particular course at a particular institution.

    As at first month

    The number of international student enrolments as at the first day of the month. This is the number of enrolments for the previous month minus the finishes for the previous month.

     

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    Attribute categories

     

    The following are descriptions of the attribute categories in international monthly data.

     

    Region

    North-East Asia
    South-East Asia
    Southern and Central Asia
    Americas
    North-West Europe
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Southern and Eastern Europe
    North Africa and the Middle East
    Oceania and Antarctica
    Unknown


    Nationality

     

    Afghanistan
    Albania
    Algeria
    Andorra
    Angola
    Anguilla
    Argentina
    Armenia
    Austria
    Azerbaijan
    Bahamas
    Bahrain
    Bangladesh
    Barbados
    Belarus
    Belgium
    Belize
    Benin
    Bermuda
    Bhutan
    Bolivia
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Botswana
    Bouvet Island
    Brazil
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    Brunei Darussalam
    Bulgaria
    Burundi
    Cambodia
    Cameroon
    Canada
    Cape Verde
    Chile
    China, People's Republic of
    Cocos (Keeling) Islands
    Colombia
    Comoros
    Congo
    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
    Costa Rica
    Côte d'Ivoire
    Croatia
    Cuba
    Cyprus
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Djibouti
    Dominica
    Dominican Republic
    East Timor
    Ecuador
    Egypt
    El Salvador
    Equatorial Guinea
    Eritrea
    Estonia
    Ethiopia
    Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
    Faroe Islands
    Fiji
    Finland
    France
    French Guiana
    French Polynesia
    French Southern Territories
    Gabon
    Gambia
    Georgia
    Germany

    Ghana
    Greece
    Grenada
    Guatemala
    Guinea
    Guyana
    Haiti
    Honduras
    Hong Kong
    Hungary
    Iceland
    India
    Indonesia
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Iraq
    Ireland
    Israel
    Italy
    Jamaica
    Japan
    Jordan
    Kazakstan
    Kenya
    Kiribati
    Korea, Democratic People's Republic of (North)
    Korea, Republic of (South)
    Kuwait
    Kyrgyzstan
    Lao People's Democratic Republic
    Latvia
    Lebanon
    Lesotho
    Liberia
    Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
    Liechtenstein
    Lithuania
    Luxembourg
    Macau
    Macedonia, The former Yugoslav Republic of
    Madagascar
    Malawi
    Malaysia
    Maldives
    Mali
    Malta
    Marshall Islands
    Mauritania
    Mauritius
    Mexico
    Micronesia, Federated States of
    Moldova, Republic of
    Monaco
    Mongolia
    Morocco
    Mozambique
    Myanmar
    Namibia
    Nauru
    Nepal
    Netherlands
    Netherlands Antilles
    New Caledonia
    Nicaragua
    Niger
    Nigeria
    Northern Mariana Islands
    Norway
    Oman
    Pakistan

    Palau
    Palestine, Occupied Territory of
    Panama
    Papua New Guinea
    Paraguay
    Peru
    Philippines
    Poland
    Portugal
    Puerto Rico
    Qatar
    Réunion
    Romania
    Russian Federation
    Rwanda
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    Samoa
    Samoa, American
    Sao Tomé and Principe
    Saudi Arabia
    Senegal
    Serbia and Montenegro
    Seychelles
    Sierra Leone
    Singapore
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    Solomon Islands
    Somalia
    South Africa
    Spain
    Sri Lanka
    Sudan
    Suriname
    Swaziland
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Syrian Arab Republic
    Taiwan
    Tajikistan
    Tanzania, United Republic of
    Thailand
    Timor-Leste
    Togo
    Tonga
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Tunisia
    Turkey
    Turkmenistan
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    Tuvalu
    Uganda
    Ukraine
    United Arab Emirates
    United Kingdom
    United Kingdom (Other)
    United States (Territories)
    United States of America
    Uruguay
    Uzbekistan
    Vanuatu
    Venezuela
    Viet Nam
    Wallis and Futuna
    Yemen
    Yugoslavia
    Zambia
    Zimbabwe


     


    Sector

    Higher education
    VET
    ELICOS
    Schools
    Other (Non-award courses, enabling courses)

     


    Level of study 

     

    Advanced certificate
    Advanced diploma
    Associate degree
    Associate diploma
    Bachelor's degree
    Certificate
    Certificate I
    Certificate II
    Certificate III
    Certificate IV
    Diploma
    Doctoral degree
    Enabling course
    Graduate certificate
    Graduate diploma
    Junior secondary studies
    Kindergarten studies
    Master's degree (coursework)

    Master's degree (research)
    Master's preliminary
    Non-AQF award
    PHD and higher doctorate qualifying program
    Primary school studies
    Senior secondary certificate of education
    Vocational graduate certificate
    Vocational graduate diploma

     


    Broad field of education

     

    Agriculture, environmental and related studies
    Architecture and building
    Creative arts
    Education
    Engineering and related technologies
    Food, hospitality and personal services
    Health

    Information technology
    Management and commerce
    Mixed field programs
    Natural and physical sciences
    Society and culture
    Dual qualification

     

    Also available are:

     

    Narrow field of education

     

    Accounting
    Aerospace engineering and technology
    Agriculture
    Architecture and building
    Architecture and urban environment
    Automotive engineering and technology
    Banking, finance and related fields
    Behavioural science
    Biological sciences
    Building
    Business and management
    Chemical sciences
    Civil engineering
    Communication and media Studies
    Complementary Therapies
    Computer Science
    Creative Arts
    Curriculum and Education studies
    Dental studies
    Dual qualification
    Earth sciences
    Economics and econometrics
    Education
    Electrical and electronic engineering and technology
    Employment skills programs
    Engineering and related technologies
    Environmental studies
    Fisheries studies
    Food and hospitality
    Forestry studies
    General education pograms
    Geomatic engineering
    Graphic and design studies
    Health
    Horticulture and viticulture
    Human welfare studies and services
    Information systems
    Information technology
    Justice and law enforcement
    Language and literature
    Law
    Librarianship, information management and curatorial studies  Management and commerce
    Manufacturing engineering and technology
    Maritime engineering and technology
    Mathematical sciences
    Mechanical and industrial Engineering and technology 
    Medical studies
    Natural and physical sciences
    Nursing
    Office studies
    Optical science
    Other agriculture, environmental and related studies
    Other creative arts
    Other education
    Other engineering and related
    technologies
    Other health
    Other information technology
    Other management and commerce
    Other mixed field programs
    Other natural and physical sciences
    Other society and culture
    Performing Arts
    Personal services
    Pharmacy
    Philosophy and religious studies
    Physics and astronomy
    Political science and policy studies
    Process and resources engineering
    Public health
    Radiography
    Rehabilitation therapies
    Sales and marketing
    Society and culture
    Sport and recreation
    Studies in human society
    Teacher education
    Tourism
    Veterinary studies
    Visual arts and crafts

     

    and


    Detailed field of education

     

    Accounting
    Acupuncture
    Advertising
    Aerospace egineering
    Aerospace egineering and tchnology, n.e.c.
    Aerospace egineering and tchnology, n.f.d.
    Aged care nursing
    Agricultural science
    Agriculture, environmental and related studies, n.e.c.
    Agriculture, n.e.c.
    Aircraft maintenance engineering
    Aircraft operation
    Anaesthesiology
    Animal husbandry
    Anthropology
    Aquaculture
    Archaeology
    Architecture
    Architecture and building, n.f.d.
    Architecture and urban environment, n.e.c.
    Astronomy
    Atmospheric sciences
    Audio Visual studies
    Audiology
    Automotive electrics and electronics
    Automotive engineering
    Automotive engineering and technology, n.e.c.
    Automotive engineering and technology, n.f.d.
    Automotive vehicle refinishing
    Baking and pastrymaking
    Banking and finance
    Banking, finance and related fields, n.e.c.
    Banking, finance and related fields, n.f.d.
    Beauty therapy
    Behavioural science, n.e.c.
    Behavioural science, n.f.d.
    Biochemistry and cell biology
    Biological sciences, n.e.c.
    Biological sciences, n.f.d.
    Biomedical engineering
    Botany
    Bricklaying and stonemasonry
    Building construction economics
    Building construction management
    Building science and technology
    Building services engineering
    Building surveying
    Building, n.e.c.
    Building, n.f.d.
    Business and commercial law
    Business and management, n.e.c.
    Business and management, n.f.d.
    Business management
    Cabinet-making
    Care for the aged
    Care for the disabled
    Career development programs
    Carpentry and joinery
    Chemical engineering
    Chemical sciences, n.e.c.
    Chemical sciences, n.f.d.
    Childrens services
    Chiropractic and osteopathy
    Civil engineering, n.e.c.
    Civil engineering, n.f.d.
    Cleaning
    Communication and media studies, n.e.c.
    Communication and media studies, n.f.d.
    Communications equipment installation and Maintenance
    Communications technologies
    Community health
    Community nursing
    Complementary therapies, n.e.c.
    Computational theory
    Computer engineering
    Computer graphics
    Computer science, n.e.c.
    Computer science, n.f.d.
    Construction engineering
    Cookery
    Counselling
    Crafts
    Creative arts, n.e.c.
    Creative arts, n.f.d.
    Criminal law
    Criminology
    Critical care nursing
    Curatorial studies
    Curriculum Studies
    Dance
    Database management
    Dental assisting
    Dental studies, n.e.c.
    Dental technology
    Dentistry
    Drama and theatre studies
    Dual qualification
    Earth sciences, n.e.c.
    Earth sciences, n.f.d.
    Eastern Asian languages
    Eastern European languages
    Ecology and evolution
    Econometrics
    Economics
    Education studies
    Education, n.e.c.
    Education, n.f.d.
    Electrical and electronic engineering and technology, n.e.c.
    Electrical and electronic engineering and technology, n.f.d.
    Electrical engineering
    Electrical fitting, electrical mechanics
    Electronic engineering
    ELICOS
    Engineering and related technologies, n.e.c.
    Engineering and related technologies, n.f.d.
    English as a second language teaching
    Environmental engineering
    Environmental health
    Environmental studies, n.e.c.
    Environmental studies, n.f.d.
    Epidemiology
    Family and consumer studies
    Family law
    Farm management and agribusiness
    Fashion design
    Fine arts
    Fire technology
    Fisheries studies, n.e.c.
    Floristry
    Food and beverage service
    Food and hospitality, n.e.c.
    Food processing technology
    Food science and biotechnology
    Footwear making
    Forensic science
    Forestry studies
    Furniture upholstery and renovation
    Garment making
    Gender specific studies
    General education programs, n.e.c.
    General medicine
    General nursing
    General primary and secondary education
    Programs
    Genetics
    Geology
    Geomatic engineering, n.e.c.
    Geomatic engineering, n.f.d.
    Geophysics
    Graphic and design studies, n.e.c.
    Graphic and design studies, n.f.d.
    Graphic arts and design studies
    Hairdressing
    Health promotion
    Health, n.e.c.
    Health, n.f.d.
    History
    Horticulture
    Hospitality
    Hospitality management
    Human biology
    Human geography
    Human movement
    Human resource management
    Human welfare studies and services, n.e.c.
    Human welfare studies and services, n.f.d.
    Hydrology
    Indigenous health
    Indigenous studies
    Industrial engineering
    Industrial relations
    Information systems, n.e.c.
    Information technology, n.e.c.
    Information technology, n.f.d.
    Insurance and actuarial studies
    Interior and environmental design
    Internal medicine
    International business
    International law
    Investment and securities
    Jewellery making
    Journalism
    Justice administration
    Justice and law enforcement, n.e.c.
    Laboratory technology
    Land, parks and wildlife management
    Landscape architecture
    Language and literature, n.e.c.
    Law, n.e.c.
    Law, n.f.d.
    Learning skills programs
    Legal practice
    Legal studies
    Librarianship and information management
    Linguistics
    Literacy and numeracy programs
    Literature
    Management and commerce, n.e.c.
    Management and commerce, n.f.d.
    Manufacturing engineering
    Manufacturing engineering and technology, n.e.c.
    Mapping science
    Marine construction
    Marine craft operation
    Marine science
    Maritime engineering
    Maritime engineering and technology, n.e.c.
    Marketing
    Massage therapy
    Materials engineering
    Mathematical sciences, n.e.c.
    Mathematical sciences, n.f.d.
    Mathematics
    Mechanical and industrial engineering and
    technology, n.e.c.
    Mechanical engineering
    Medical science
    Medical studies, n.e.c.
    Medical studies, n.f.d.
    Mental health nursing
    Microbiology
    Midwifery
    Mining engineering
    Mixed field programs, n.e.c.

     

    Music
    Natural and physical sciences, n.e.c.
    Natural and physical sciences, n.f.d.
    Naturopathy
    Networks and communications
    Nursing, n.e.c.
    Nursing, n.f.d.
    Nutrition and dietetics
    Obstetrics and gynaecology
    Occupational health and safety
    Occupational therapy
    Ocean engineering
    Oceanography
    Office studies, n.e.c.
    Optical technology
    Optometry
    Organisation management
    Paediatrics
    Palliative care nursing
    Panel beating
    Paramedical studies
    Pathology
    Performing arts, n.e.c.
    Performing arts, n.f.d.
    Personal services, n.e.c.
    Pharmacology
    Pharmacy
    Philosophy
    Photography
    Physics
    Physics and astronomy, n.e.c.
    Physiotherapy
    Plant and machine operations
    Podiatry
    Police studies
    Policy studies
    Political science
    Political science and policy studies, n.f.d.
    Practical computing skills
    Printing
    Process and resources engineering, n.e.c.
    Programming
    Project management
    Psychiatry
    Psychology
    Public and health care administration
    Public health, n.e.c.
    Public health, n.f.d.
    Public relations
    Purchasing, warehousing and distribution
    Quality management
    Radiography
    Radiology
    Real estate
    Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
    Rehabilitation therapies, n.e.c.
    Religious studies
    Sales
    Sales and marketing, n.e.c.
    Sales and marketing, n.f.d.
    Secretarial and clerical studies
    Security science
    Security services
    Social work
    Society and culture, n.e.c.
    Society and culture, n.f.d.
    Sociology
    Southeast Asian languages
    Southern European languages
    Speech pathology
    Sport and recreation activities
    Sport and recreation, n.e.c.
    Sports coaching, officiating and instruction
    Statistics
    Structural engineering
    Studies in human society, n.e.c.
    Studies in human society, n.f.d.
    Surgery
    Surveying
    Systems analysis and design
    Taxation law
    Teacher education, n.e.c.
    Teacher education, n.f.c.
    Teacher education: early childhood
    Teacher education: higher education
    Teacher education: primary
    Teacher education: secondary
    Teacher education: special Education
    Teacher education: vocational Education and Training
    Textile design
    Textile making
    Tourism
    Tourism management
    Traditional Chinese medicine
    Translating and interpreting
    Transport engineering
    Urban design and regional planning
    Valuation
    Vehicle mechanics
    Verbal communication
    Veterinary assisting
    Veterinary science
    Veterinary studies, n.e.c.
    Visual arts and crafts, n.e.c.
    Visual arts and crafts, n.f.d.
    Viticulture
    Welfare studies
    Wool science
    Work practices programs
    Written communication
    Youth work
    Zoology

     

     

    For full details of these categories, refer to ‘Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001’ (ABS Catalogue No. 1272.0), available as a free download from the ABS website.


    Provider type

    Government
    Non-government

     


    State

    New South Wales
    Victoria
    Queensland
    Western Australia
    South Australia
    Tasmania
    Northern Territory
    Australian Capital Territory

    National*

     

    *This category captures data from institutions with a single national registration that deliver courses to international students across different states and territories.

     

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    Counting methodology

     

     

    Step 1

    Match PRISMS records to identify multiple CoEs that belong to the same student based on personal details, passport numbers and visa numbers.

    Step 2

    For each matched record where the provider is constant:

     

     

    For each course code only allow one instance of study (per day)

     

    Then

       
     

    Where a CoE is ended but another CoE (at the same level, sector, provider) exists within 14 days, join together

     

    Then

       
     

    For each course code join all durations that are not cancelled
    If:
    1. actual study period is at least 10 percent of CRICOS registered duration; and
    2. within a year of the first CoE ending.

    Exclude ELICOS

    Then    

     

    Drop all CoE’s of less than 10 percent duration that are not joined together as a result of the previous rules being applied

     

     

    Step 3

    Where a student changes providers, Step 2 is repeated for the next provider. Then courses from different providers are combined on the basis of same:

  • level of study
  • sector, and
  • field of study.
  • Notes:

    Enrolments by students breaking their course by a substantial period will be recorded as two separate enrolments. For example, a master's student, studying in 2002, going on leave for 2003, and re-enrolling in 2004, will be counted twice – once in 2002 and once in 2004. Joining such cases is not appropriate as this would imply a student studied in 2003. However, this will still allow linking of courses where for example; a student attempts a one-year course, but repeats the following year because of a failure or late withdrawal etc.

    Joining small fragments introduces errors as it implies a student was studying during the intervening period. Therefore fragments less than 10 percent of standard duration are only joined where they are close to another enrolment record (14 days).

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    Sector allocation

    HE - Higher Education   VET- Vocational Education and Training    ELICOS - English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students

     

    Studies

    Sector

    Advanced diploma​ HE​

    Associate degree

    HE

    Bachelor's degree

    HE

    Diploma​ HE​

    Graduate certificate

    HE

    Graduate diploma

    HE

    Master's coursework

    HE

    Master's preliminary

    HE

    Master's research

    HE

    Doctor of philosophy

    HE

    PHD and higher doctorate qualifying program

    HE

    Junior secondary studies

    School

    Kindergarten studies

    School

    Primary school studies

    School

    Senior secondary studies

    School

    Advanced certificate​ VET​

    Associate diploma

    VET

    Certificate I

    VET

    Certificate II

    VET

    Certificate III

    VET

    Certificate IV

    VET

    Certificate

    VET

    Advanced diploma

    VET

    Diploma

    VET

    Vocational graduate certificate​ VET​
    Vocational graduate diploma​ VET​

    Enabling course

    Non-award

    Foundation studies

    Non-award

    Non-award

    Non-award

    When field of study is ELICOS

    ELICOS

     

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