International Student Enrolments Up 19.9 per cent in May 2009

AEI’s YTD May 2009 International Student Data shows there were 449,087 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa.  This is an increase of 74,635 enrolments on YTD May 2008 figures, representing growth of 19.9 per cent.

There were 182,697 commencements recorded in the same period.  This is an increase of 26,513 commencements on YTD May 2008 figures, representing growth of 17.0 per cent.
Nationality
Enrolments

Of the top 10 markets by volume of enrolments, 9 recorded increases between YTD May 2008 and YTD May 2009.  The top 10 markets collectively accounted for 72.5 per cent of all enrolments and grew by 22.8 per cent.
International student enrolments by nationality (top 10 markets) YTD May 2009

 

Nationality

Enrolments

% of Total

Growth on

YTD May 2008

China

107,527

23.9%

16.9%

India

85,157

19.0%

39.1%

Republic of Korea

26,435

5.9%

2.6%

Malaysia

19,576

4.4%

10.3%

Nepal

18,176

4.0%

58.1%

Thailand

17,505

3.9%

18.3%

Vietnam

15,929

3.5%

60.5%

Indonesia

13,004

2.9%

14.4%

Hong Kong

11,175

2.5%

-2.8%

Brazil

11,081

2.5%

18.2%

Other nationalities

123,522

27.5%

13.1%

All nationalities

449,087

100.0%

19.9%

Markets outside the top 10 recording growth of more than 1,000 enrolments were: Saudi Arabia (85.8% growth), Sri Lanka (17.9% growth), Colombia (32.3% growth), Pakistan (24.3% growth) and Mauritius (59.0% growth). Of these, Saudi Arabia and Mauritius have been growing since 2002 (when AEI data collection started). Sri Lanka and Pakistan have been growing since 2004, and Colombia has been growing since 2006.

Of the 25 markets with more than 2,000 enrolments, five recorded declines between YTD May 2008 and YTD May 2009:  Hong Kong (down 2.8), Japan (down 10.8%), the USA (down 4.7%), Taiwan (down 1.7%) and Bangladesh (down 4.7%).

Hong Kong has been declining since 2004, Japan since 2005, the USA since 2006, Taiwan since 2007 and Bangladesh since 2008.

The Asian region accounted for 80.4 per cent of international student enrolments in Australia, similar to the 80.1 per cent in YTD May 2008.  Enrolments from this region grew by 20.4 per cent between YTD May 2008 and YTD May 2009.  In comparison, enrolments from all other regions combined grew by 18.1 per cent in the same period.
Commencements

Commencements increased by 26,513 between YTD May 2008 and YTD May 2009. Of the top 10 nationalities by volume of commencements, 8 recorded increases in the same period.  The top 10 markets collectively accounted for 71.9 per cent of all commencements and grew by 20.5 per cent.
International student commencements by nationality (top 10 markets) YTD May 2009

 

Nationality

Commencements

% of Total

Growth on

YTD May 2008

China

43,218

23.7%

16.9%

India

32,157

17.6%

30.2%

Republic of Korea

11,058

6.1%

-3.6%

Thailand

7,670

4.2%

24.1%

Nepal

7,240

4.0%

33.3%

Vietnam

7,193

3.9%

56.8%

Malaysia

7,100

3.9%

13.4%

Brazil

6,121

3.4%

14.9%

United States of America

5,175

2.8%

-5.2%

Saudi Arabia

4,371

2.4%

68.1%

Other nationalities

51,394

28.1%

8.9%

All nationalities

182,697

100.0%

17.0%

Outside the top 10 markets, 5 markets with more than 1,000 commencements recorded declines on 2008 figures: Japan (down 6.1%), Hong Kong (down 29.2%), Canada (down 3.2%), Germany (down 1.3%) and Bangladesh (down 2.0%).

The Asian region accounted for 76.6 per cent of international student commencements in the YTD May 2009, similar to the 76.3 per cent seen in the same period in 2008.  Between YTD May 2008 and YTD May 2009, commencements from the Asian region grew by 17.3 per cent, slightly higher than the 15.8 per cent recorded for all other regions combined.
Sector

Increases in enrolments by international students were seen across all sectors in the YTD May 2009. Increases in commencements occurred in all but the Schools and Other sectors in the same period.
International Student Enrolments and Commencements by Sector in YTD May 2009

Enrolments

Commencements

Sector

Number

% of Total

Growth on YTD May 2008

Number

% of Total

Growth on YTD May 2008

Higher Education

165,392

36.8%

11.7%

51,537

28.2%

16.8%

VET

162,219

36.1%

40.7%

62,211

34.1%

34.1%

ELICOS

78,312

17.4%

12.3%

47,150

25.8%

8.6%

Schools

22,937

5.1%

1.1%

8,195

4.5%

-5.1%

Other

20,227

4.5%

8.4%

13,604

7.4%

-0.3%

All sectors

449,087

100.0%

19.9%

182,697

100.0%

17.0%

Higher Education

Higher education ranked first by volume of enrolments and second by volume of commencements. Enrolments grew by 78.2 per cent between May 2002 and May 2009, and by 11.7 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009.  Commencements grew by 16.8 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009.

China dominated the higher education market by share of total enrolments (30.5%) and share of total commencements (33.1%).  India was the second largest market by volume of enrolments with 13.2 per cent, and by volume of commencements with 10.5 per cent.

Asian markets collectively accounted for 83.2 per cent of enrolments and 81.3 per cent of commencements.  Enrolments in this region grew by 11.5 per cent and commencements by 16.3 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009.  Growth for all other regions collectively was 12.8 per cent for enrolments and 18.9 per cent for commencements.

-Management and Commerce dominated the broad field of education with 47.1 per cent of enrolments and 47.4 per cent of commencements.  No other broad field of education individually contributed more than a 10 per cent share of enrolments or commencements.
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 312.8% per cent between May 2002 and May 2009, and by 40.7 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009.  Commencements grew by 34.1 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009.

Asian markets dominated activity with 84.9 per cent of enrolments and 84.0 per cent of commencements.  India was the top market with a 33.6 per cent share of enrolments and a 33.2 per cent share of commencements, followed by China with shares of 14.4 per cent and 14.7 per cent respectively.  No other markets in this sector individually contributed more than 10.0 per cent of enrolments or commencements.

-Management and Commerce dominated the broad field of education in VET with 49.6 per cent of enrolments and 41.9 per cent of commencements.  -Food, Hospitality and Personal Services ranked second, contributing 21.2 per cent and 25.8 per cent, followed by -Society and Culture with contributions of 10.0 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively.  All other broad fields of education contributed less than 10.0 per cent.
ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students)

ELICOS ranked third by volume of enrolments and commencements.  Enrolments grew by 127.6 per cent between May 2002 and May 2009, and by 12.3 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009.  Commencements grew by 8.6 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009.

China was the dominant market with a 24.0 per cent share of enrolments and 23.7 per cent share of commencements.  India ranked second in enrolments and in commencements in this sector with 10.2 per cent and 12.1 per cent shares respectively; followed by the Republic of Korea with 9.4% and 8.4%.

Activity from the Asian region accounted for 70.1 per cent of enrolments and 70.7 per cent of commencements, and recorded growth of 6.3 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.
Schools

The schools sector ranked fourth by volume of enrolments and fifth by volume of commencements, and comprised 5.1 per cent of enrolments and 4.5 per cent of commencements.  Enrolments grew by 1.1 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009, while commencements decreased by 5.1% per cent.

China was the dominant market with 46.2 per cent of enrolments and 41.6 per cent of commencements.  The Republic of Korea was second with 17.9 percent and 16.4 per cent respectively.  All other nationalities contributed less than 10 per cent.
Other

This sector ranked fifth by volume of enrolments and fourth by volume of commencements.  In May 2009 this sector contributed 4.5 per cent of enrolments and 7.4 per cent of commencements. Enrolments in this sector grew by 8.4 per cent between May 2008 and May 2009, and commencements fell by 0.3 per cent in the same period.

The two dominant markets in this sector are China and the USA. China contributed 21.9 per cent of enrolments and 17.6 per cent of commencements.  The USA contributed 21.1 per cent of enrolments and 30.3 per cent of commencements. All other nationalities contributed less than 10 per cent of enrolments and commencements.
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).

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