The boom rolls on in international education

Education exports boom on, with the YTD all-sector enrolment figure for April just over 608 000, 60 000 more than in 2017. International student enrolments in higher education were up 40 000, to 318 000 – nearly doubling numbers a decade back. VET enrolments were 23 000 on April ’17 to 155 000.

Higher education demand from China stayed strong, up 18 000 on 2017, to 124 000, in-line with the 2016-17 increase. Chinese student numbers across all education sectors increased from 162 000 to 189 000. Universities accounted for all the growth in Indian enrolments, up 10 000, to 51 000, with all sectors rising 10 000 to 71 000.

The enrolment numbers translate to 548 000 people from overseas being educated in Australia.

The strength of the Australian international market contrasts with the UK, where ex-EU demand went backwards by one per cent between 2015-16 and 16-17. It took 4 per cent growth in students from China to overcome downturns from other country markets.  This is attributed to tighter migration requirements. “It may be that Australia’s introduction of post-study work visas for international higher education graduates in 2013 has positioned Australia to be perceived as not only a quality study destination, with opportunities for working both during and after study, but also as a more welcoming destination for international students,” an analysis by the Department of Education and Training suggests.

However, a DET comparison with the US demonstrates Australia enjoys no intrinsic advantage in attracting international students, with both countries similarly relying on India and China.

This makes the case for a grant to consultants Deloitte Access Economics, to consider market diversification, among a range of federal funding for international ed market research, announced today. Other projects include; $120 000 for Navitas to examine international demand trends, $249 000 to the Australian Technology Network to research work integrated learning for international students and $90 000 for Universities Australia to study the information students get before they leave for Australia.



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