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Data snapshot - International VET Sector

Monday, June 19 2017

KEY FINDINGS for the March Quarter 2017


  • As at end March 2017 there had been 120,436 international student enrolments in VET programs in Australia during the calendar year to date. This represents 15.3% growth in international enrolments compared with the equivalent quarter in 2016.
  • Australia-wide, the private VET sector’s international student enrolments increased by 17.5% to 108,294 from the March quarter 2016 to the March quarter 2017.
  • Private provider enrolments in New South Wales and Victoria grew by 15.7% (6641) and 22.9% (5607) respectively.  Western Australian and Queensland private providers also experienced significant growth in enrolments of 1561 and 1386, respectively.
  • Private providers, with 89.9%, maintained their dominant share of the nation’s international VET market. With a 45.1% share of these, New South Wales was still leading Australia’s private VET international market from Victoria with 27.8% and Queensland with 15.2%.
  • Public VET providers in Australia recorded 12,142 international enrolments, declining slightly compared with the March 2016 quarter level, and representing just over 10% of total international VET enrolments for the quarter, down from 11.7% in the March quarter 2016. 
  • Public VET institutions in Western Australia experienced a decrease (-16.8%) in international enrolments from the March quarter 2016 to the March quarter 2017 and was the only jurisdiction to do so.   Every other jurisdiction grew their international enrolments (all by less than 100).  
  • India, Thailand, South Korea, China and Brazil continued as Australia’s top 5 source markets for the VET sector in the March quarter 2017.  India represented 13.7% of the market, with all other countries with less than 10% each.
  • Compared with the March quarter 2016, the VET Sector saw significant growth in markets such as Thailand, South Korea, China, Brazil, Malaysia, Taiwan, Nepal and Colombia, with each contributing around 1,000 extra enrolments or more.   Brazil’s contribution was just over an extra 2,500 enrolments and was closely followed by Malaysia. 
  • The number of enrolments from India appears to have plateaued over the last four years at around the 28,000 per annum mark.  The level as at end of March 2017 was ballpark with the March 2016 level, suggesting a continuation of this situation.  For China, the March quarter figure represented an increase of 16.2%.  Nevertheless, China is sitting fourth in the VET sector source country ranks, although ranking first in total enrolments across all sectors with just over 30% of the 520,737 total as at end of March 2017.

1. Source: Department of Education and Training International Student Enrolment Year to Date data, March 2017
2. Note: the student enrolment data does not represent the number of overseas students in Australia at a point in time.  It counts the Year to Date enrolments - the running total enrolments for the March 2017 quarter.  Enrolments as at end March 2017 represent the total of each month’s commencing enrolments from January 2017 to March 2017.  Data refers to international students under Student Visa only.


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