International student data 2006


This page presents statistics for the 2006 annual data drawn from AEI's student enrolment database. Selected time-series statistics are also presented.

On this page:

  • 2006 international student enrolments
  • 2006 annual pivot table
  • 2006 annual tables
  • 2006 state summaries
  • 2006 detailed monthly data
  • International student enrolments in Australia, 19942006


    2006 international student enrolments

    Growth in Australia’s international student enrolments continued during 2006. The latest AEI full year data show steady growth in Australia’s international education market overall. During 2006, there were a total of 383 818 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia. This represents an increase of 10.9 per cent from 2005 and shows stronger growth than the 6.4 per cent recorded between 2004 and 2005.


    The strongest enrolment growth in 2006 was in the vocational education and ELICOS sectors (25.7 per cent and 19.2 per cent respectively). This continued the growth experienced in both of these sectors during 2005. The higher education sector also grew by 5.2 per cent, which is down on the 8.1 per cent increase between 2004 and 2005. However, commencement growth (which basically measures new business) was at 4.9 per cent, a marked improvement on the -0.2 per cent experienced in 2005. Enrolments growth in the schools sector was negative (-1.7 per cent), although this is also an improvement on the -8.0 per cent growth in 2005. Commencements in the schools sector was 7.7 per cent, the highest experienced since 2003.


    Strong growth continues from India (41.9 per cent), China (10.5 per cent) and the Republic of Korea (18.8 per cent). This continues the growth shown by these markets in the previous three years. This growth was slightly offset by falls in enrolments from other markets such as Indonesia (-6.7 per cent), Singapore (-6.7 per cent), Hong Kong (-3.8 per cent) and Malaysia (-1.0 per cent). These more traditional markets have now experienced successive years of negative growth. Thailand, another traditional market, has rebounded from earlier slowing of growth to record an 8.3 per cent rise in enrolments.

    Other markets which recorded strong enrolment growth in 2006 included Brazil (43.9 per cent), the Middle East (35.7 per cent), Vietnam (27.5 per cent), Sri Lanka (31.6 per cent), Canada (10.7 per cent), Pakistan (38.2 per cent) and Colombia (72.7 per cent).

    States and territories

    New South Wales and Victoria continue to attract most international student enrolments with two in three (67.4 per cent) enrolments recorded in those states. These two states have also shown good growth in enrolments with 11.8 per cent for New South Wales and 13.3 per cent for Victoria. All other states and territories recorded growth between 2005 and 2006, with Queensland and South Australia in particular recording good growth of 8.7 per cent and 14.1 per cent respectively.

    For more detailed state-specific information, refer to the State Summary Sheets section below.

    Level of study

    The three levels of study, which attracted the highest student enrolments in 2005, accounted for more than two-thirds of all student enrolments. They were Bachelor's Degree (25.7 per cent of all enrolments), Non-award (25.7 per cent) and Master's Coursework (15.2 per cent). Growth was also experienced with student enrolments rising by 3.0 per cent, 13.9 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively for each levels of study.

    Although accounting for relatively smaller segments of the market, very strong growth in enrolments were recorded for the levels of study Diploma (20.2 per cent) and Advanced Diploma (36.4 per cent).

    Broad field of study

    One in four (26.9 per cent) enrolments is in the field of Business Administration, Management and the field with the next highest level of enrolments is ELICOS with 20.3 per cent. Both fields experienced good enrolment growth over 2005, with 11.2 per cent and 18.8 per cent respectively.

    Other fields that experienced strong growth in 2006 were Services, Hospitality, Transport (60.1 per cent), Health, Community Services (25.5 per cent) and Nursing (35.4 per cent).

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    2006 annual pivot table


    2006 basic annual
    pivot table

    (zip 425kb)

    Includes the variables Sector, Nationality, State and Territory and Region for year-to-date enrolments and commencements for the years 2002 to 2006.

    Warning  Unzipped file is approximately 366440kb. AEI advises that the pivot table is compatible with Excel 2003 or later.


    To assist you with using the AEI pivot tables is the AEI user guide to international student data, which provides some basics to get you started with using the pivot tables.

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    2006 annual tables

    Detailed tables are available individually below, or as a complete set (pdf 98kb).

    Table A: International student enrolments in Australia from top 10 source countries, 20022006 (pdf 32kb)

    Table B: Time series of international student enrolments in Australia by country, 20022006 (pdf 34kb)

    Table C: Time series of international student enrolments in Australia by state/territory, 20022006 (pdf 28kb)

    Table D: International student enrolments in Australia by country and state/territory, 200506 (pdf 34kb)

    Table E: Time series of international student enrolments in Australia by major sector, 2002–2006 (pdf 27kb)

    Table F: International student enrolments in Australia by country and major sector, 200506 (pdf 37kb)

    Table G: International student enrolments in Australia by state/territory and major sector, 20022006 (pdf 20kb)

    The pivot table used to produce tables AG is included above. It contains the variables Sector, Nationality and Year, and refers to enrolments and commencements year-to-date December data.

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    2006 state summaries

  • New South Wales (pdf 39kb)
  • Victoria (pdf 40kb)
  • Queensland (pdf 40kb)
  • South Australia (pdf 39kb)
  • Western Australia (pdf 40kb)
  • Tasmania (pdf 39kb)
  • Northern Territory (pdf 39kb)
  • Australian Capital Territory (pdf 40kb)
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    2006 detailed monthly data 

    Detailed monthly tables of international student data are available here.

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    International student enrolments in Australia, 19942006



    International student enrolment annual statistics for 1994-2006 are summarised in the chart below. They show sector level data for 1994–2006 and combines data from AEI's Overseas Student Statistics series and the Commonwealth Provider Register and International Student Management System (PRISMS). This chart should be used for indicative purposes only. Data for the periods 1994–2001 and 2002–06 are not comparable due to the different sources used to compile the data.

    International student enrolments in Australia 1994–2006

    Please select the image below to view the table and its data (pdf 24kb)

    International Studend Enrolments in Australia 1994-2006

    Note: there have been significant changes in methodology between 2001 and 2002.

    1994–2001: Data were sourced from the DEST Higher Education Statistical Collection, CRICOS, the then Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and AusAID.

    From 2002: Onshore student data are derived from the Commonwealth Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS). The data show enrolments across all sectors for all students holding a student visa. These do not cover students on other visas, which in the case of ELICOS, involves a large number of students on tourist visas and, to a lesser extent, working holiday visas. As a general 'rule of thumb', for each ELICOS student on a student visa there is another on a non-student visa. For further information, please see Explanatory notes for AEI international student data.

    The data do not cover offshore activity where Australian providers supply education services to foreign students overseas or by distance education where the student remains offshore. Data on offshore activity by Australian higher education institutions are available from the Higher Education Statistical Collection. Data on the Delivery of VET Offshore by Public Providers are available to MIP subscribers.

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