What is ‘international education’?

There are many definitions of what is ‘international education’. One definition is that it ‘allows students to think with an international or global perspective through connecting them with different societies and belief systems which will help them understand and embrace cultural differences and similarities’.

International education covers many aspects including, but not limited to:

  • international student recruitment
  • international admissions
  • student mobility
  • international compliance and governance
  • international student administration and student experience
  • transnational education (TNE)
  • international partnerships, relations and networks
  • internationalised curriculum
  • pathways
  • ELICOS

Statistics on international education 

Terms and definitions

Transnational education (TNE): According to Jisc, ‘transnational education’ refers to the provision of education qualifications from institutions in one country to students in another and can be delivered via various models including international program partnerships, offshore campuses or distance education.

Pathway programs: According to IEAA, ‘pathways’ is defined broadly to include award and non-award programs, foundation studies, enabling and short bridging courses, with or without credit transfer to a principal course.

Enrolments vs. commencements: Enrolments show what courses international students are studying across Australia’s different education sectors. There are more enrolments than students since a student can study in more than one course in one calendar year. Commencements are new enrolments (a subset of all enrolments).

Useful links

Department of Education and Training - International education

Department of Education and Training - Research snapshots

Austrade – Education

Other useful links

Last updated: April 2022

AIEC 2022 Key dates

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1 March - Call for proposals closes

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18-21 October – AIEC 2022