A survey of 1500 people – by respected opinion trackers JWS Research – finds 81 per cent of Australians grasp that international education makes a major contribution to national prosperity.
This overwhelming public support rises again – to 85 per cent – when Australians learn exactly how much income this sector brings into the Australian economy each year.
International education generates export income of $34.9 billion a year for Australia and supports more than 240,000 jobs across the country. It is now Australia’s third largest export.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said an overwhelming majority of Australians clearly saw the importance of international students to Australia.
“The Australian public absolutely get it: they know international students make a hugely valuable contribution to our local communities, society, global outlook and economy.”
“The income they bring into Australia supports local jobs, wages and living standards right across the country – but their contribution is about so much more than the economy.”
“Australians also benefit from the powerful personal, cultural, diplomatic and trade ties that are forged when brilliant students from across the globe spend their formative years here.”
“When these talented students return home – as 85 per cent do – they join a global network of alumni with deep understanding and lifelong affection for Australia.”
“And those who stay on are highly-skilled graduates who are needed in our nation’s economy.”
Australia is tipped to leapfrog the United Kingdom to become the world’s second most popular destination for international students.
“This is no coincidence; Australia’s international education success has been nurtured carefully by our world-class universities for more than six decades,” Ms Jackson said.
“Quality and high standards are central to our appeal. International students know Australia offers a world-class education in one of the world’s best locations.”
Almost 700,000 international students now study in Australia – the majority at our universities.