Australia's international students: characteristics and trends


Banks, Melissa; Olsen, Alan


Australia's international student program is significant in scale and effect. Australia hosts approximately 8 percent of the world's mobile students and is an active player in a global phenomenon of rising student mobility. Over two and a half million international students have studied in Australia since records were first kept of those arriving to study in its schools, universities and other institutions. International education is now an integral component of Australia's educational landscape. Practices for capturing and reporting international student commencement and enrolment data are acknowledged as among the best in the world. In the higher education sector data are collected and reported from the point of visa application through to enrolment, for student performance and progression through to student completions. This chapter uses these data to describe the characteristics of Australia's international student program. It also makes some international comparisons, describes the recent changes in global demand for Australia's international education services, and concludes with data on international student performance.

Publication year


Publication type

Book chapter


Making a difference: Australian international education / Dorothy Davis and Bruce Mackintosh (eds.), Chapter 3, pp. 91-113


UNSW Press




Copyright © 2011 The International Education Association of Australia.