1136.0 - Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2007   
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Contents >> Statistical Collections >> Education and Training - General >> International Student Enrolments

International Student Enrolments


Statistical Officer
Australian Education International
Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)
GPO Box 9880 Canberra City, ACT 2601
Telephone (02) 6240 7610
Facsimile (02) 6240 7751
Website http://www.aei.dest.gov.au


Australian Education International's (AEI's) Enrolment data provide monthly and yearly data on the number of enrolments of persons with student visas, for all sectors (Schools, Vocational Education, Higher Education, and ELICOS). Data includes commencements and cessations with progressive year to date totals.


Only enrolments that represent students who have actually started studying in Australia on a student visa are counted. Enrolment data is derived from the Commonwealth Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) database.

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

Data do not represent the number of overseas students in Australia or the number of student visas issued. Instead the data count actual course enrolments. 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.

Reference Period

Month, and calendar year

Frequency of Collection

Monthly summary of daily activity reporting.

Method of Collection

Enrolment data is derived from the Commonwealth Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) database. PRISMS data is being updated continuously, and DEST extracts this data monthly producing monthly and yearly figures.

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 Citizenship (DIAC) 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 DIAC as student visas are granted or cancelled and as students are recorded on DIAC systems as entering Australia. Only enrolments that represent students who have actually started studying in Australia are counted in AEI student enrolment data.

Enrolments are allocated to 'sectors' mainly on the basis of the Level of education of current study (ASCED Level structure). However ELICOS students are allocated to that sector by Field of education of current study (where Field is 'ELICOS').


Release schedule

Monthly summary of daily activity reporting; monthly data released about six weeks after the end of the reference month.


Monthly table sets and graphs are released electronically. Some 12 tables are available in Acrobat '.pdf' format and an Excel 'pivot table' are released as free downloads each month. More detailed data are available on subscription to registered users.


Australia, states, and territories.

Data Service

Overview statistics and further information about more detailed data and access to AEI's Market Information Package are available on the website.


Commencements in month
Finishes in month
Total in month
Year to date total
Level of study
Field of study
State or territory
Provider type
Government or non-government institution

Historical Data

Previously, the collection was known as the Overseas Student Statistics Collection (OSSC) and was first published in 1993. The OSSC initially focused primarily on international students who came to Australia on a student visa. Later, international students who utilised other forms of visas were also included. In 2002, there were significant changes in the methodology used for International Enrolments Data, causing a break in the time series. Data available from 2002 therefore is not strictly comparable with earlier data. 

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