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The National Strategy for International Education 2025 released today is a step in the right direction, members of the former Coordinating Council for International Education have said.
Sector and industry members of the council, who were consulted in the early stages of the strategy's development, are pleased to see the release of Australia's first whole-of-sector international education strategy.
They said the success of the strategy would ultimately be judged by the quality of implementation - and the Government now needed to put it into action.
Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) said:
"Given that international education is now worth $19.6 billion a year to the Australian economy, it now requires the level of attention that the nation's third largest export sector should attract."
"The sector provides far more than just an economic boost. Research collaboration, two-way student mobility and student services such as accommodation and employment skills are all vital and require greater national coordinated effort. These 'soft diplomacy' benefits are often overlooked."
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said:
"For too long, international education has fallen between the cracks of different Ministers and Departments. The fact that both government and industry representatives were willing to take a whole-of-sector approach in framing the strategy is to be commended."
"As the implementation of the strategy and the associated Austrade roadmap initiatives will be dependent on the formation of a new Coordinating Council, we look forward to the members of this Council being announced at the earliest opportunity. This should, ideally, occur before the pending election so that the sector can see tangible progress being made."
Australian Chamber's Director of Employment, Education and Training, Jenny Lambert, said:
Education is a leading Australian export industry, so it is vital for our economic future that we have a strategy document that brings together all stakeholders. To compete successfully against other nations seeking international students, Australia must ensure our education, economic and visa policies are in alignment."
Malcolm White, TAFE Directors Australia said:
"The benefits of international education to both Australia and other countries are significant - and will become more so in the years ahead. In conjunction with Austrade's AIE 2025 marketing roadmap document, the strategy sets out recommendations for how Australia can continue its success."
The sector and industry members of the council include:
The Hon Phil Honeywood, International Education Association of Australia
Belinda Robinson, Universities Australia
Jenny Lambert, Australian Chamber
Bill Spurr AO, Chair of Study Adelaide
Malcolm White, former acting head of TAFE Directors Australia
For media enquiries, please contact: Phil Honeywood (IEAA) on 0409 964 363