The roundtable of the Coordinating Council for International Education – of which Universities Australia’s Chief Executive Belinda Robinson is a member – includes Government Ministers and representatives from the education sector, students, business and industry.
“International education is Australia’s fourth highest export earner, providing over $17 billion a year and creating new jobs and new industries as well as building cultural diversity in our universities and communities and deepening links with other nations”, Ms Robinson said.
“Given the far-reaching impact of international education, it makes sense to take a whole-of-government, whole-of-sector and whole-of-nation approach to its future.
“Universities Australia has long been advocating for a more coordinated, national approach to broadening and deepening international engagement in the sector.
“The roundtable will work on finalising the National Strategy for International Education to make sure we have the full suite of policy settings working effectively together to realise the benefits of international education,” Ms Robinson said.
Ms Robinson said the sector had rebounded in recent years with the latest figures showing international student enrolments have grown by 11 per cent over the past year.
“The growth in the number of students is testament to the high quality education and student experience available in Australia”, she said.
“While the growth in student enrolments is encouraging, broadening the international student cohort is also central to a well-integrated forward looking National Strategy,” Ms Robinson said.
“Universities Australia is making sure our international education sector is diverse and thriving as we build deep engagement with universities in a variety of countries. I have just returned from leading the successful first higher education forum between Australia and Brazil as the sector seeks to build relationships with Latin American universities,” Ms Robinson said.
The Government’s announcement of a significant study into international education, examining its importance to our economy and our communities is a key part of the overall strategy.
“Although the economic benefit may be easier to quantify, uncovering the true magnitude of international education’s impact on our communities will give greater meaning to the work of the Council,” Ms Robinson said.