How is international education impacting Australia?

A recent survey conducted by The University of New South Wales revealed that 54 per cent of respondents wanted to see fewer international students enrolling at Australian universities. While some have speculated this is due to domestic students missing out on university places to their foreign counterparts, it’s important to note that ABC Fact Check found that the amount of spots for locals was largely decided by Commonwealth funding availability.

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Unsurprisingly, China is responsible for the highest proportion of students enrolling in Australian universities (30 per cent), followed by India (13 per cent) and Nepal (six per cent), with Malaysia and Brazil rounding out the top five (four per cent each).

Despite more than half the country claiming they would prefer less students from overseas, it’s worthwhile understanding the host of benefits that international education provides.

Economic contribution

As of December 2018, a record number of international students (876,399) had enrolled in Australian universities. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, students from overseas injected nearly $32 billion into the Australian economy in the last financial year. That’s an increase of $3.8 billion over 12 months. Any way you look at it, that’s huge.

Potential to upgrade universities

In fact, it can be argued that the sheer volume of international enrolments actually benefits the domestic cohort, as foreign students are paying full fees and providing institutions with more financial clout to upgrade facilities and resources, which translates to an enhanced learning experience for international and local students alike.

Cohort diversity

In an increasingly globalised world, the ability to interact with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds has never been more critical. There is no better place to hone communication skills than at university, where students can collaborate with fellow pupils from all over the world and prepare themselves for doing the same in the workforce upon graduating.

Mike Hancox is a Senior Sales Consultant for Good Education Group’s higher education portfolio. His vast experience has taken him from newspapers and magazines, into digital media and now to Good Education Group’s multi-faceted solutions. Learn more about Mike and his work with Good Education Group.

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