Release type: Media Release


International Education Sector Remains Strong

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard has welcomed the International Student Data released today which shows the sector remains strong despite the global economic downturn.

The International Student Data for the month of January 2009 released by Australian Education International (AEI) revealed that the number of full-fee international students grew by 21.4 per cent.

This followed a record increase of 20.7 per cent in the number of enrolments by international students in Australian institutions in 2008.

These figures are certainly encouraging for the sector in these difficult economic times and show the strength of the sector.

The Minister recently announced that international education activities will be reprioritised to raise Australia’s international education reputation in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The campaign ‘Study in Australia 2010’ will see $3.5 million will be redirected to specific measures in existing major source countries such as China, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand over the next nine months.

The measures would be customised to specific countries in consultation with industry and the Department’s extensive international network.

The measures encompass four themes:

Student Experience

  • Developing materials and best practice guidelines around student welfare and support

Showcasing Excellence

  • Engaging eminent Australian educators of international reputation to speak at major international events

Positioning Australia

  • Promote and communicate Australia's international education reputation in key markets

Sector Support (to Australian international education providers)

  • Improving communication of key strategic advice and analysis on market trends and opportunities
  • Supporting education agents in training and development to align agents more to Australia and ensure that students are given the best possible counselling on their education choices

International education contributed $14.2 billion to the economy in 2007-08; making it Australia’s third-largest export behind coal and iron ore.

The Rudd Government is determined to ensure Australia remains a widely recognised, highly regarded ‘first choice’ destination for students considering studying overseas.