A new report by the British-based Centre for Global Higher Education predicts Australia will become the world’s second highest destination for international students by 2019.
Its forecasting reflects that our international student numbers have risen by up to 14 per cent a year in recent years.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said Australia was a standout choice for international students, who come because of education quality, safety, and our welcoming culture.
“Over the last six decades, Australian universities have built higher education into our nation’s third largest export — and it’s now worth $30 billion a year to our national economy,” Ms Jackson said.
“That income from international students directly supports Australian jobs, wages and living standards, because much of it is spent in local shops and communities right across the country.”
“But it also creates long-term opportunities for Australia, because our talented global alumni return to their home countries as powerful advocates and ambassadors for our country.”
“International students choose Australia for a truly world-class education and a lifelong global alumni network in one of the friendliest, safest, and most beautiful countries on earth.”
“Australia’s success story in international education — built by universities over the past half century — is a model envied by other countries. We must continue to nurture it,” Ms Jackson said.
International education creates a powerful global network for our nation, given the vast majority of international students return overseas after study.
A recent Treasury paper confirms that Australia’s system of limited work rights for international students does not harm Australian jobs and wages — including for younger workers.
“Clearly the policy settings we currently have are working to grow Australian jobs by making Australia a welcoming destination for international students and all the benefits they bring,” Ms Jackson said.
“There are clear cautionary tales of countries who have changed key policies and seen an almost immediate decline in their international student numbers.”