The education of international students generates $22.4 billion in income for Australia each year, with our world-class universities attracting $15 billion of that income into our national economy.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said these latest growth figures highlighted the enormous contribution of Australia’s high-quality university system to national prosperity.
“We know that international students are attracted to Australia by the excellent quality of the education we provide and the calibre of both teaching and research here,” Ms Robinson said.
“That’s why proposed cuts to university funding have to be considered so carefully by the Parliament. Any erosion in the quality of our higher education sector would diminish both the education of Australian students and jeopardise this enormously important export sector.”
There were 480,092 international students in Australia in March 2017 – with 30 per cent of them from China, 11 per cent from India, and 4 per cent each from Malaysia, Vietnam and Nepal.
A 2016 survey by the Australian Government confirmed the reputation of the Australian education system was their top reason that international students gave for choosing to study here.
“Quality is our drawcard,” Ms Robinson said. “We must guard it wisely.”
Data from 2016 also confirms the enormous contribution made by international students to the economies of each State and Territory across Australia.
International education contributes $8 billion to New South Wales, $7 billion to Victoria, $3.2 billion for Queensland, $1.5 billion to Western Australia and $1.1 billion to South Australia.
It also added $579 million to the ACT economy, $236 million to Tasmania and $81 million to the Northern Territory.