Release type: Media Release


Education exports grow to a record $18.8 billion


Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Minister for Tourism and International Education
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Exports from Australia’s international education services sector reached a record high of $18.8 billion in 2014-15, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showed today.

Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, said today’s figures eclipsed the previous peaks of $17.6 billion in calendar year 2014 and $16.3 billion in financial year 2013-14.

“Education services exports for 2014-15 increased by 15 per cent on the 2013-14 figure which shows our booming international education sector continues to go from strength to strength,” Senator Colbeck said.

“These figures confirm that international education remains Australia’s largest services export and our third largest export overall after iron ore and coal.

"International education is also a major generator of jobs, with the sector supporting over 130,000 jobs in cities and regions throughout Australia.

“Roughly $600 million of the $18.8 billion figure was generated from a range of international education services delivered by Australian providers offshore.

“The remaining $18.2 billion is contributed by the nearly half a million students who chose to study in Australia over this period. International students in the higher education sector generated $12.5 billion in export income, while students in the vocational education and training sector produced $2.9 billion.”

Senator Colbeck said the international education sector also helps to forge vital diplomatic, business and research links between Australia and key trading partner countries around the world.

“At the Indonesia-Australia Business Week in Jakarta I’ve been discussing with my Indonesian counterparts and education sector representatives how we can build our international education partnership which will grow our economies and support the development of our workforces – as these figures today prove,” Senator Colbeck said.

“The government is determined to ensure the international education sector continues to be one of the major strengths of the Australian economy.”

Details of the latest international education export figures are available at the Department of Education and Training website.