Shifting demands; changes for Foundation Studies and ELICOS


ELICOS and foundation studies are key pathways for international students, providing an opportunity to fulfil the entry requirements of vocational and higher education courses at Australian institutions.

Seventy-three per cent of the 73,334 ELICOS students who completed their course in 2016 went on to further studies in higher education or VET — 26,999 (37%) and 18,236 (25%) respectively. There has also been a steady increase over the past five years.

Since 2012, enrolments in foundation studies have increased at an average annual growth rate of 22% and reached a high of 22,824 in 2016 (34% up in foundation studies from 2015 to 2016).

This e-poster will examine some of the reasons behind these shifts, such as changes in where international students are coming from, the subjects that they are studying, and policy decisions that have affected growth within each sector.

Take-home message:

Analysis of ELICOS and foundations studies data can help to identify new emerging markets for vocational and higher education recruitment. This allows providers to better allocate their available resources and to prioritise recruitment strategies that cater for the growing needs of students who plan to undertake these pathway programs.

Key interest area: Pathways (PATH) 
Other key interest areas: Business development and strategy (BD&S), English language (ELT), Marketing and recruitment (M&R)


Mr Shiang Huei Tee
Data Analyst, RMIT University, Australia

Shiang Huei Tee is responsible for analysis and reports relating to international student recruitment. Examples include tracking and comparing student acceptances to university targets at a program and college level. He undertakes data collection and analysis for a range of primary and secondary market research projects to help better plan for recruitment and enrolment. Tee has worked in international education for nine years and has previously worked as a Reporting Analyst at Hobsons Australia Pacific. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Information Systems and E-commerce from Curtin University.

Mr Ryan Savio & Mr Shiang Huei Tee

Market Intelligence and Insights Analyst

RMIT University

Ryan Savio provides tailored student pipeline reporting that enables stakeholders to make evidence-based marketing decisions. Before taking on his current role, Ryan worked within the international recruitment team and was responsible for direct marketing to prospective students as well as conversion activities from enquiry to enrolment. Ryan has worked in international education for five years, initially entering the sector at Hobsons (now QS Enrolment Solutions) where he was responsible for the delivery of campaigns for various higher education and vocational education institutions across Australia and New Zealand.