Figures today showing that exports from international education services have hit a record $18.1 billion in 2014-15 are an endorsement of the hard work of our universities in delivering an educational experience of uncompromising quality and standards.
Deputy Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Ms Anne-Marie Lansdown said that the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that despite fierce global competition, students are studying in Australia in growing numbers.
“The most important factors in choosing where in the world to study are the reputation of the course, the reputation of the institution and the reputation of the education system as a whole,” Ms Lansdown said.
“The increased numbers of international students bring benefits to our economy and society including cultural diversity in universities, communities and the nation as a whole as well as forging crucial diplomatic links with other nations.”
Universities Australia is working with the Government on finalising the National Strategy for International Education so that Australia can identify and address the challenges and opportunities the sector faces in the coming decades.
“In finalising this vitally important strategy, we must ensure that the regulatory and policy settings supporting international education are sufficiently robust to continue delivering quality but not so onerous as to prevent innovation.
“It will be important to get the balance right so that the excellent education and research reputation currently enjoyed by Australian universities is supported well into the future.”
Ms Lansdown said as well as the increased flow of international students to Australia, we are also seeing higher numbers of Australian students taking the opportunity to study offshore as part of their Australian degree.
“Whether through the New Colombo Program, Endeavour scheme or other exchange program, the growth in the number of Australians benefiting from the internationalisation of the student experience is very encouraging.
“It signals a growing awareness among students and employers of the benefits an international education experience brings,” Ms Lansdown said.