Business Envoy February 2022
New way forward for Australian international education
International education is one of Australia's great success stories. Australia is a magnet for students from more than 190 countries and has educated more than three million international students in the past 20 years.
The international education sector was hit hard by the pandemic, with many international students offshore when borders closed and others onshore were affected by lockdowns. International student enrolments have declined by up to 70 per cent on pre-pandemic levels for some parts of the sector.
However, with the reopening of borders, targeted government support and a new ten-year strategy, 2022 is looking positive for the sector and for international students studying with Australia.
The Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030 reflects four priorities for Australian international education to drive a more sustainable sector, create new opportunities for growth and enhance the experience of Australian and international students:
- Meeting Australia's skills needs
- Students at the centre
- Growth and global competitiveness.
The strategy also emphasises growth opportunities in new markets, particularly online and offshore. There is enormous demand for higher learning within our region which Australian institutions could help meet with differing product offerings.
As part of the strategy, the Australian Government announced more than $37 million of targeted measures to support the international education sector to bounce back, as international borders reopen. These measures, which include extended regulatory fee waivers, additional grant funding, and changes to visa settings, will accelerate the COVID-19 recovery process for the 2022 academic year.