"Australian universities are providing quality educational experiences," said Dr Glenn Withers, Chief Executive Officer of Universities Australia, commenting on a survey of international students published today by Australian Education International (AEI).
AEI's 2006 International Student Survey found Australia was the country of first preference for 84% of international students studying at Australian universities.
"International students have rated quality of education, reputation and future employment prospects as the primary reasons for choosing to study at an Australian university," Dr Withers said.
"The responses of international students highlight both the quality of our university education offerings and the unique culture and lifestyle Australia has to offer as two important factors for their decision.
"A high proportion of students indicated broad satisfaction with the Australian educational experience, and the course and university at which they were studying," Dr Withers said.
Eighty-five percent of university respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied with the overall study experience in Australia, and 83% were very satisfied or satisfied with their university course.
The report also showed that 88% of international students would recommend study in Australia to family or friends.
"Australian universities are at the forefront of the internationalisation of the higher education sector, largely due to their strong commitment to providing a quality educational experience as the findings of this report have shown.
"Universities Australia looks forward to working with industry and government to create additional opportunities for international students to gain relevant work experience while in Australia, in order to enhance the value of their studies even further.
"In continuing to build Australia's reputation as a quality provider of education, it will also be important to find ways to further improve interaction and cultural exchange between international and Australian students," Dr Withers said.
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