This page is a collection of publicly available research briefs and publications produced by WESTIR Limited. Please remember to reference WESTIR Limited's authors when using information from these publications.


The international education sector plays a vital role in Australia's economy, contributing $37.6 billion and supporting 240,000 jobs in 2019. The consistent growth in enrolments and commencements from 2012 to 2019 led to a boom in the sector.

To achieve these aims, this paper draws on data from the ABS Migrant data series of the 2016 Census, specifically the Australian Census and Temporary Entrants Integrated Dataset (ACTEID). A limitation is that the data used in this paper is quite dated; however, this remains the most recent dataset on temporary entrants in Australia as it was released at the end of 2019. The Researcher acknowledges that the true impact of COVID-19 cannot be captured by this dataset. Yet, there is much to be learned from 2016 Census data.

With this, the paper is structured into three key sections:

  • International Students in Australia – The first section provides a review of literature on IS in Australia. It looks at the various challenges they experience upon arrival and throughout their studies.
  • Demographics of International Students in GWS – The second section looks at the data from the ABS on IS living in GWS.
  • Experiences of International Students in GWS amid COVID-19 – The third section looks at the impacts of COVID-19 on IS in GWS.



All publications related to the Census can be found here.

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