Project Atlas | Australia | Australian Government Department of Education and Training

About Australia

Australia remains one of the most popular destinations for international students. International students made up approximately 21 percent of the entire higher education student population in the country in 2015. The majority of international students in Australia came from Asia.

Fast Facts: Australia

  • There were over 292,000 international students in Australian higher education in 2015.
  • The top five places of origin were China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Nepal
  • Australian Government Department of Education and Training is responsible for national policies and programs that help Australians access quality and affordable early child care and childhood education, school education, higher education, vocational education and training, international education and research.

Source: Australian Government Department of Education and Training


Inbound/International Student: A student on a student visa studying in Australia with an institution registered to deliver courses to such students. Students from New Zealand are not included in the student enrollment counts as they do not require a student visa.

Foreign Student: Australia does not differentiate between international and foreign students.

Outbound Student:

  1. Any student (including international students) enrolled in a campus in Australia who leaves the country for the purposes of study for an unspecified period. These students are the subject of the national count of 31,912 outbound students in 2014.
  2. Any Australian permanent resident who is enrolled in a full-degree in another country. Australia depends on UNESCO for a count of these students. Therefore, by UNESCO definitions, these students are studying abroad for two years or more.

Higher Education Institution (HEI): An entity established or recognized by the federal or a state/territory government to issue qualifications in the higher education sector. It may be a university, self-accrediting institution or non-self-accrediting institution. These institutions must be in the National Register of Higher Education Providers.

Public HEI: HEIs that have the majority of their funding provided by the government (state and/or federal) for domestic student places.

Private HEI: HEIs that have the majority of their funding sourced from the non-government sector for domestic student places.

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