New data indicates South Australia’s international student enrolments remain well ahead of the national growth rate average, with figures from the first eight months of 2019 easily exceeding the entire enrolments of 2018.

The data shows international student enrolments are up 14 per cent in South Australia compared to 9.5 per cent nationally, with state enrolments currently at 39,596 – contributing an estimated $1.8 billion to the state’s economy.

A breakdown of enrolments saw 32 per cent growth in the vocational education and training (VET) sector and 15 per cent growth in the higher education sector.

More growth is expected in the immediate future with commencements of new students (the leading indicator of growth) in South Australia also exceeding the national growth rate, up 17.3 per cent compared to 6.8 per cent Australia wide.

South Australia is rebuilding its share of the national international student market. Recent growth has seen the state’s market share begin to climb, moving from 4.5 to 4.7 per cent on last year.

South Australia’s school sector is also on the rise, growing by 1 per cent, while at the national level, the school sector’s enrolments declined by close to 4 per cent, giving the state’s school sector a bigger share (11.1 per cent) of total international school student enrolments in Australia.

Acting Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Pisoni said we’re seeing growth from a range of markets, including some of the traditionally smaller markets for South Australia.

“Smaller markets such as the Philippines (93 per cent rise), Brazil (66 per cent rise), Sri Lanka (46 per cent rise), and Colombia (31 per cent rise) have shown increases in international student numbers in 2019,” Mr Pisoni said.

“This trend is fantastic to see, and provides further opportunities for cultural exchange, integration and diversification to take place within South Australia.

“Importantly, for every four international students who come to SA, one job is created – which provides a real economic boost.

“Three of our top five markets, India (56 per cent rise), Vietnam (17.5 per cent rise) and Nepal (30 per cent rise) have also continued to grow strongly.

“The growth in the VET sector is also double that of Australia after a long period of underperformance.”

Mr Pisoni said this sustained growth was fantastic news for the state, bringing with it economic benefits encompassing the construction industry.

“An independent report released by commercial real estate firm JLL, highlights the whole of economy impact the international education sector has, including significant stimulus to the construction industry, with $525 million in accommodation projects currently in development,” Mr Pisoni said.

“This report complements the State Government’s International Education 2030 Plan – to grow the international education sector to a $3 billion industry and employing 23,500 South Australians by the year 2030 – and this continued growth highlights we are on our way to achieving this ambitious target.”

The student enrolment and commencement data is drawn from the Australian Government Department of Education published data

Department of Education and Training international student enrolment data are derived from the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS) database and counts enrolments by students studying in Australia on a student visa. The data includes commencements and year-to-date counts. It is broken down by nationality, sector and state/territory.

For further information about international education in South Australia, visit:

Featured Image