2009 annual international student statistics

Page summary

This page presents statistics for the 2009 annual data drawn from AEI's student enrolment database. Selected time-series statistics are also presented.

On this page:

  • 2009 international student enrolments
  • 2009 annual pivot table
  • 2009 annual tables
  • 2009 state summaries
  • 2009 detailed monthly data
  • International student enrolments in Australia in 19942009

  • 2009 international student data

    AEI’s international student data for 2009 shows there were 631 935 enrolments by full fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa. This represents an increase of 16.8 per cent on 2008 enrolments and compares with growth of 20.2 per cent in 200708.  In 2009 year-to-date enrolments exceeded 600 000 for the first time.

    There were 365 605 commencements in 2009, an increase of 13.2 per cent on 2008. This compares with growth of 24.4 per cent between 2007 and 2008.

    2009 international student enrolments

    Enrolments grew by 90 791 between 2008 and 2009.  All of the top 10 source countries by enrolment volume recorded increases between 2008 and 2009.  These countries collectively accounted for 72.4 per cent of all enrolments and grew by 20.5 per cent.

    International student enrolments – top 10 nationalities in 2009

    Nationality

    Enrolments

    % of total

    Growth on 2008

    China

    154 777

    24.5%

    18.0%

    India

    120 913

    19.1%

    25.4%

    Republic of Korea

    35 708

    5.7%

    1.6%

    Thailand

    26 460

    4.2%

    19.0%

    Nepal

    24 579

    3.9%

    36.5%

    Vietnam

    23 755

    3.8%

    49.9%

    Malaysia

    23 103

    3.7%

    9.5%

    Indonesia

    17 867

    2.8%

    11.8%

    Brazil

    17 529

    2.8%

    10.3%

    Saudi Arabia

    12 599

    2.0%

    61.8%

    Other nationalities

    174 645

    27.6%

    8.1%

    All nationalities

    631 935

    100.0%

    16.8%

    Source countries outside the top 10 recording growth of more than 1000 enrolments were Colombia (28.6 per cent growth), Pakistan (24.4 per cent growth) and the Philippines (41.6 per cent growth). Of these, Pakistan has been growing continuously since 2003, the Philippines since 2004, and Colombia since 2005.

    Four of the 34 source countries with more than 2000 enrolments recorded declines between 2008 and 2009: Japan (down 6.4 per cent), Hong Kong (down 12.9 per cent), the USA (down 6.7 per cent), and Taiwan (down 1.3 per cent).

    Hong Kong has been declining continuously since 2004, Japan and the USA since 2005 and Taiwan since 2007.

    The Asian region accounted for 79.3 per cent of international student enrolments in Australia. Enrolments from this region grew by 17.2 per cent between 2008 and 2009.  In comparison, enrolments from the Asian region increased by 21.0 per cent between 2007 and 2008.

    Commencements

    Commencements increased by 42 627 between 2008 and 2009. Eight of the top 10 source countries by volume of commencements recorded increases in this period. The top 10 source countries collectively accounted for 72.3 per cent of all commencements and grew by 14.2 per cent.

    International student commencements top 10 nationalities in 2009

    Nationality

    Commencements

    % of total

    Growth on 2008

    China

    89 300

    24.4%

    18.8%

    India

    67 974

    18.6%

    13.4%

    Republic of Korea

    20 416

    5.6%

    -2.0%

    Thailand

    16 600

    4.5%

    22.0%

    Vietnam

    15 043

    4.1%

    43.1%

    Nepal

    13 677

    3.7%

    14.6%

    Brazil

    12 579

    3.4%

    6.1%

    Malaysia

    10 573

    2.9%

    10.3%

    Indonesia

    9213

    2.5%

    10.4%

    United States of America

    8844

    2.4%

    -7.5%

    Other nationalities

    101 386

    27.7%

    10.7%

    All nationalities

    365 605

    100.0%

    13.2%

    Source countries outside the top 10 recording growth of more than 1000 commencements were Saudi Arabia (44.9 per cent growth) and Colombia (25.8 per cent growth).

    There were five countries outside the top 10 with more than 1000 commencements, which recorded declines on 2008 figures: Japan (down 0.4 per cent), Hong Kong (down 35.2 per cent), Sri Lanka (down 6.1 per cent), Mauritius (down 17.5 per cent) and Egypt (down 16.2 per cent). 

    The Asian region accounted for 76.6 per cent of international student commencements in 2009, similar to the 76.5 per cent seen in 2008. Between 2008 and 2009, commencements from the Asian region grew by 13.4 per cent, compared with growth of 25.8 per cent between 2007 and 2008.

    Sector

    Increases in enrolments and commencements by international students were recorded across all sectors except schools in 2009.

    International student enrolments and commencements by sector  2009

    Enrolments

    Commencements

    Sector

    Number

    % of Total

    Growth on 2008

    Number

    % of Total

    Growth on 2008

    VET

    232 475

    36.8%

    33.3%

     

    132 303

    36.2%

    25.3%

    Higher Education

    203 324

    32.2%

    12.1%

     

    89 435

    24.5%

    15.4%

    ELICOS

    135 141

    21.4%

    7.5%

     

    103 993

    28.4%

    4.5%

    Other

    33 489

    5.3%

    7.2%

     

    26 815

    7.3%

    2.5%

    Schools

    27 506

    4.4%

    -2.9%

     

    13 059

    3.6%

    -8.7%

    All sectors

    631 935

    100.0%

    16.8%

     

    365 605

    100.0%

    13.2%

    Vocational Education and Training (VET)

    VET ranked first by volume of enrolments and commencements. VET enrolments and commencements were the fastest growing of all sectors.  Enrolments grew by 33.3 per cent between 2008 and 2009. Commencements grew by 25.3 per cent in the same period. 

    Asian countries dominated activity with 85.0 per cent of enrolments and 84.7 per cent of commencements.  India was the top source country with a 34.3 per cent share of enrolments and a 34.6 per cent share of commencements, followed by China with shares of 14.5 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.  No other source country in this sector individually contributed more than 10 per cent of enrolments or commencements.

    “Management and Commerce” was the largest broad field of education in VET with 46.0 per cent of enrolments and 39.9 per cent of commencements.  “Food, Hospitality and Personal Services” ranked second, contributing 24.4 per cent and 28.7 per cent respectively. All other broad fields of education contributed less than 10 per cent of enrolments and commencements.

    Higher education

    Higher education ranked second by volume of enrolments and third by volume of commencements. Enrolments grew by 12.1 per cent between 2008 and 2009.  Commencements grew by 15.4 per cent in the same period.

    China was the largest source country for higher education representing 31.7 per cent of total enrolments and 33.8 per cent of total commencements.  India was the second largest source country by volume of enrolments (13.5 per cent) and by volume of commencements (12.6 per cent).

    Asian countries collectively accounted for 83.2 per cent of enrolments and 82.0 per cent of commencements.  Enrolments in this region grew by 11.6 per cent between 2008 and 2009, compared with 14.6 per cent for all other regions combined.  Commencements in the Asian region grew by 14.4 per cent in the same period, compared with 20.4 per cent for all other regions combined.

     “Management and Commerce” was the largest broad field of education with 48.4 per cent of enrolments and 50.6 per cent of commencements. No other broad field of education individually contributed more than a 10 per cent share of enrolments or commencements. 

    ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students)

    ELICOS ranked third by volume of enrolments and second by volume of commencements. Enrolments grew by 7.5 per cent between 2008 and 2009. Commencements grew by 4.5 per cent in the same period.

    China was the top source country with a 26.7 per cent share of enrolments and a 27.5 per cent share of commencements. India ranked second in enrolments and in commencements in this sector with 9.3 per cent and 9.8 per cent shares respectively; followed by the Republic of Korea with 8.6 per cent and 8.1 per cent shares respectively.

    The Asian region accounted for 70.2 per cent of enrolments and 70.6 per cent of commencements, and recorded growth of 2.4 per cent for enrolments and negative growth of 0.3 per cent for commencements.

    Other

    This sector, which includes study abroad and foundation programs, ranked fourth by volume of enrolments and commencements.  In 2009 this sector contributed 5.3 per cent of enrolments and 7.3 per cent of commencements. Enrolments in this sector grew by 7.2 per cent between 2008 and 2009, and commencements grew by 2.5 per cent in the same period.

    The two largest source countries in this sector are China and the USA. China contributed 23.5 per cent of enrolments and 21.1 per cent of commencements. The USA contributed 20.8 per cent of enrolments and 25.5 per cent of commencements. All other nationalities individually contributed less than 10 per cent of enrolments and commencements.

    Schools

    The schools sector ranked fifth by volume of enrolments and commencements, and comprised 4.4 per cent of enrolments and 3.6 per cent of commencements.  Enrolments fell by 2.9 per cent between 2008 and 2009, while commencements fell by 8.7 per cent.

    China was the top source country with 45.8 per cent of enrolments and 42.3 per cent of commencements.  The Republic of Korea was second with 16.4 per cent and 13.9 per cent shares respectively.  All other nationalities individually contributed less than 10 per cent of enrolments and commencements.

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    2009 annual pivot table  

     

    2009 basic annual
    pivot table

    (zip 9.3MB)


    Includes the variables state and territory, sector, nationality, month and year for year-to-date enrolments and commencements.

    Warning - Unzipped file is approximately 84.2MB. 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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    2009 annual tables

    Detailed tables are available individually below, or as a complete set (pdf 127kb).

    Table A: International student enrolments in Australia from top 10 source nationalities, 2005-2009 (pdf 41kb)

    Table B: International student enrolments in Australia by nationality, 2005-2009 (pdf 130kb)

    Table C: Time series of international student enrolments in Australia by state/territory, 2005-2009 (pdf 35kb)

    Table D: International student enrolments in Australia by nationality and state/territory, 2008-09 (pdf 257kb)

    Table E: Time series of international student enrolments in Australia by sector, 2005-2009 (pdf 34kb)

    Table F: International student enrolments in Australia by nationality and sector, 2008-2009 (pdf 40kb)

    Table G: International student enrolments in Australia by state/territory and sector, 2005-2009 (pdf 64kb)

    The pivot table used to produce Tables A to G 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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    2009 state summaries

    2009 annual state summary sheet - all states (pdf 380KB)

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    2009 detailed monthly data

    Detailed monthly tables of international student data are available here.

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    International student enrolments in Australia, 1994–2009

     

    Introduction

    International student enrolment annual statistics for 1994–2009 are summarised in the chart below. It shows sector level data for 1994–2009 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 2002–09 are not comparable due to the different sources used to compile the data.

    International student enrolments in Australia, 1994–2009

    Table and data in pdf format (25kb)

    Note: there have been significant changes in methodology in 200102.

    1994–2001: Data were sourced from the DEEWR Higher Education Statistical Collection, CRICOS, then the 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.

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