Release type: Media Release


International education sector to receive project boost


Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training

The Turnbull Government has backed 14 new projects to improve Australia’s competitiveness and the overall student experience of international students, as new data shows international student numbers continue to go from strength to strength.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the 14 projects will share in $2.1 million in new funding under the Turnbull Government’s Enabling Growth and Innovation (EGI) program.

“There is no doubt Australia’s international education sector continues to build on its successes,” Minister Birmingham.

“But if we want to continue to be an attractive study destination, we need to look at new and innovative ways to support international students and improve their experience both on and off campus.

“Better support for international students is also good for domestic students, as improvements in the study experience and support services ultimately benefit all students.

“That’s why we’re backing projects that improve the employment and internship opportunities for students through to initiatives that focus on the health and wellbeing of students as well as projects that that will develop new technologies.”

Project highlights include:

  • Funding to pilot innovative approaches to work integrated learning for international students across five universities

  • Assistance to develop training for staff teaching English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) on mental health awareness

  • An assessment of the level of diversification within the current market and the potential policy responses to support future growth.

Navitas Limited CEO David Buckingham whose organisation was selected for a grant in partnership with Nous Group and Trade and Investment Queensland said he commended the Turnbull Government for continuing to back international education in Australia.

“Our project will deliver insights into the global flows of international higher education students from source to destination countries - these trends and the ability to continue to update the information as new data becomes available will be a powerful tool for policymakers and the sector alike. We look forward to sharing our insights through a report and a series of workshops around Australia,” Mr Buckingham said.

Minister Birmingham also said new international student data from April showed more than 548,000 international students had already commenced study in Australia this year – a 12 per cent increase on the same time last year.

“These are once again encouraging results and show the strength of Australia as a top study destination,” Minister Birmingham said.

“There was strong enrolment student growth across all sectors including by 14 per cent in higher education, 17 per cent in vocational education and training and 2 per cent in ELICOS courses.”

The EGI supports implementation of the National Strategy for International Education 2025, which provides a framework to strengthen Australia’s international reputation for high quality education and training.

Expert Members of the Council for International Education met in Canberra last week to discuss progress in implementing the National Strategy and how government and the sector can continue to work together to grow, strengthen and diversify our international education sector.

A full list of successful projects and the latest figures on international students in Australia can be found at: