Claire Field on new opportunities in international education

There is clearly potential to expand TNE in Australia’s key source markets, and elsewhere in Asia


 Australia’s pre-eminent international education conference (AIEC) took place last week and included a number of presentations which offered useful insights into Australia’s future opportunities. A separate conversation with Stephen Connelly at provided further food for thought.

Stephen observed that budget pressures will mean changes to where and how student recruitment activities take place. Providers will have less money to spend on staff travel which may well impact Australian educators delivering transnational education under FIFO arrangements and might also see some application processing work transferred offshore to reduce administration costs.

At AIEC Rob Lawrence shared data indicating that the future of Australian international education will involve a “24/7 virtual and personalised global presence” and “promotion through all digital channels.” He went on to note that while there will be different rates of recovery in different markets and segments – there will be much greater use and acceptance of on-line learning especially in a blended model and “enormous growth in TNE”.

Rachel Power from Deloitte unpacked the TNE opportunities further by examining Australia’s current offshore delivery profile against the profile of students studying onshore. Our Top 10 TNE markets for VET and higher education include the UAE, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Mauritius – none of which are large source markets for inbound students. There is clearly potential to expand TNE in Australia’s key source markets, and elsewhere in Asia.

Finally – three of Australia’s Education and Science Counsellors (Elizabeth Campbell-Dorning, Fiona Morris and Jen Bahen) gave an excellent presentation on the TNE opportunities in South-East Asia.

While Australia’s first priority is the return of international students, COVID-19 has given providers new insights into the opportunities available to them offshore and on-line and it has given students, parents and overseas governments direct experience of the flexible, high quality study options Australian providers have to offer.

 Claire Field is the host of the ‘What now? What next?’ podcast. She recently spoke with Stephen Connelly about the future of international education. Listen online or in your favourite podcast app.