The international education industry is Australia’s largest services export sector, contributing $11.7 billion to the Australian economy in 2006-07. Australia is the preferred choice for international students from many countries and is the third most popular English-speaking study destination for these students.
In 2007, about 455 000 enrolments were recorded by students from more than 190 countries studying at educational institutions in Australia, including 5000 funded under Australian Government scholarships. Another 100 000 were studying Australian courses at off-shore campuses or by correspondence.
Australia offers international students some 26 000 courses delivered by more than 1200 universities, training colleges and schools. The three biggest sectors in terms of enrolments were higher education (around 178 000), vocational education and training (121 000) and English-language intensive courses (102 000).
Asia remains Australia’s main source of international students, with more than 75 per cent, but enrolments from the Middle East, South America and Africa have grown strongly. International students are attracted by the high standard of Australia’s education and training, its national qualifications framework, welcoming environment and diverse society.
Australia’s English-language schools provide a wide variety of training programs. These range from short courses to improve students’ English-language skills while visiting Australia as part of a holiday, to formal courses in preparation for accredited levels of English recognised by education and immigration authorities around the world.
English-language training in Australia is provided by specialised institutions. A national accreditation body (the National ELICOS Accreditation Scheme) sets standards for class sizes, teacher qualifications, teaching methods and curriculum. Students from more than 100 countries come to Australia to learn English for academic, work, travel or personal reasons.
National legislation maintains high standards for those in Australia on student visas. Laws require registration of every course and institution that enrols international students on student visas. International students can apply for permission to work part time during their stay in Australia.
In 2007, according to Australian Education International, the greatest number of international student enrolments in Australia came from the following countries: China (107 071); India (63 604); Republic of Korea (34 674); Thailand (19 987); Malaysia (19 874); Hong Kong (19 742); Japan (16 077); Indonesia (14 919); Brazil (12 545) and the United States (11 822).
Australia has provided scholarships to enable students in the Asia-Pacific region to study in Australia since the late 1940s. Australian Scholarships brings together under one umbrella the Endeavour Awards, managed by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Australian Development Scholarships and Australian Leadership Awards, managed by Australia’s international aid agency, AusAID. Through the Endeavour Awards, opportunities are also available to Australians to undertake research, study and professional development abroad.
Study in Australia
Australian Education International
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Sources: University World and Wikipedia