In the year 2015-16, Australia’s international education industry reached a record value of AUD $20.3billion with a continuous growth being observed over the past three years.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in early 2016 the Chinese students’ enrollment in the country drove the industry towards strong growth. As per Deloitte’s upgraded report, this registered growth helps to reach a better value than $19.7billion which was a record figure in the previous year.
The Education Minister, Simon Birmingham stated, “These new statistics highlight the strength of our international education sector now worth $20.3bn and our third largest export”. He further added stating, “As well as skilling people from all over the world and building Australia’s reputation abroad, international education supports 130,000 jobs in Australia and also delivers significant income for accommodation, hospitality and services sectors in every Australian state”.
Along with direct income generated in the form of fees, it helps for the generation of indirect income in the form of revenue generated by international students & institutions by the consumption of goods and services. The direct income of $19.8billion and indirect income of $450million together constituted a record revenue value of $20.3billion in the year 2015-16.
A significant growth was observed in all sectors such as schools & vocational education which is approximately 15% and is leading when compared to the example country, New Zealand’s growth of 13%. Australia’s international education industry’s largest contributor, Higher education, contributes two-thirds of the total revenue of the industry and has experienced a growth of 10% to reach an estimated worth of $13.9billion.
The Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson, says, “The growth in the numbers reflects Australia’s excellent reputation for delivering a world-class education in one of the world’s best locations”. But the real value of international education to all of our students – international and domestic – and to Australia at large goes well beyond the financial benefits,” she added, pointing to the benefits international student connections bring to Australia’s future ties in trade, business, diplomacy, tourism and regional security.”
The ELICOS sector retains its position as the third leading sector of Australia with an experienced increase by 1.2% or $12million by remaining above the $1billion mark.
“Still a part has to experience better growth, as students prefer to study for small periods of ELICOS during which student visas growth of 4.8% was observed”, expressed by Brett Blacker, CEO of English Australia.
He anticipates an improvement in the sector after this year’s August commencements, as there was an increase of 3.3% compared to the last year and has been optimistic that the sector will have increased the number of students and revenue in the upcoming months with the contribution of outside influences.
He said, “Anecdotally, interest and enquiries are up potentially due to Brexit and other global factors, however there has not been a noticeable impact from these foreign nation policy initiatives to-date,”
The CEO of International Education Association of Australia, Phil Honeywood said that though there is continuous growth in the industry from past three years but, it is still vulnerable to the market and political changes. The student’s visa applications are being closely monitored by the immigration department and particularly on students belonging to the countries which are considered as low-risk by tradition.
“International education in Australia has always been a roller coaster ride industry. Anything could happen to turn a boom into a bust.”
The latest statistics were released during the first meeting of the Council for International Education on 22nd November, established to advise and administer on how to implement the $12million National Strategy for International Education 2025.