1136.0 - A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/03/2009   
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Statistical Officer
Australian Education International
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
GPO Box 9880 Canberra City, ACT 2601
Telephone 1300 363079
Facsimile (02) 6240 7751


Australian Education International (AEI) collects information about students from overseas countries studying in Australia and enrolments in Australian courses offshore. AEI provides monthly and yearly data on the number of enrolments of persons with student visas, for all sectors (Schools, Vocational Education, Higher Education) and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).


Only enrolments that represent students who have actually started studying in Australia on a student visa are counted. Country of birth is based on citizenship, rather than home residence.

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 (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 DEEWR extracts these data monthly to produce 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.


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, available in Acrobat '.pdf' format and as Excel 'pivot tables', are released as free downloads each month via the AEI web site. 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 AEI website.


Enrolments for month

Year to date enrolments
Completions in month

Commencements for month
Year to date commencements


Level of study
Field of study
Provider type
State or territory
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 used 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.