The export education data mess

Data on education exports is, “fragmented and somewhat inaccessible to the majority of interested parties,” new research for private provider Navitas warns.

The report, prepared by consultants Nous, details datasets collected by multiple agencies for multiple purposes across different reporting periods with mixed availability.  In the case of some Austrade reports information is only available to paying customers of the commission. None of this works to all of the industry’s advantage. Thus, the report warns,

“there exists a large group of users who may never be in a position to undertake detailed research and analysis, as a result of shortages in resourcing, capability or other constraints. For this group, the key to understanding notable trends in international education and training data lies in short and easily digestible data snapshots.”

The report sets out a range of ways to improve IET data resources:

Data on international enquiries as a lead indicator

Wider distribution of and detail on visa applications and approval, including information on source regions, (“China” or “India” are a bit broad for target-marketing)

More frequent and detailed international student experience survey than the existing biennial product

Data on post-study outcomes

A single tertiary education dataset

And that’s just for starters.

That furious typing you can hear is people in multiple agencies writing briefs on why giving up power and sharing information with the public is a bad idea.


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