INTRODUCTION

International Education is a dynamic field witnessing experiential growth which can be explained in two different points. The first one refers to a comprehensive approach to education which prepares the students to be active and engaged in the interconnected world, and the second one emphasizes education that surpasses national borders by exchange of people who travel to study, work, or volunteer as part of a program. Both these reference points are focused on developing global competencies, which foster the  individuals to possess qualities and abilities that may help them take a critical decision over a problem, understand and explain facts, opinions and ideas, work in groups with people of other countries, and participate in free dialogues.

 

This research gives a brief idea about the current trends of international education in Australia, the challenges faced by Australian institutions and the scope and opportunities available to the Australian institutions to increase international student enrollment.

AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION – NOW

Australian international education is a leading brand across the globe. Every year, hundreds of thousands of students from different part of the world are attracted to Australia and hence, Australian teachings and research become widespread. International education is a vital part of the Australian economy as it acts as the basis for developing national and international business and industry. In 2014/15, the education sector in Australia measured export earnings to be at $18.8 billion, but unmeasured borderless activity recommends its size is even greater.

AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION – THE FUTURE

International education in Australia has raised significantly in the past decade and the Australian government pronounces to own the potential of growing international education in Australia with new markets, new partnerships, new areas of teaching and research, new technology, and new modes of delivery. At present, Australia’s higher education system contains 169 higher education providers, with 43 universities that attract international students, researchers and academics, and produces in-demand graduates. The graphs below showcase the trends of international education in different countries in the past 15 years.

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Figure 1: Global Market Share Of Countries In 2001 And 2016

The pie charts above clearly demonstrate the growth in international student recruitment in Australia which grew by 7% in the past 15 years, making Australia the third top study abroad destination for international students.

Australia’s current national strategy for international education sets an enrollment target of 720,000 international students by 2025. Standing on record enrollment of more than 550,000 students in 2016, and with average annual growth of 6.5% over the past decade, the country is well-poised to hit that ambitious target.

GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY IN THE AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION MARKET

MAJOR PROJECTIONS

Australia’s international education is predicted to grow from 650,000 to 940,000 by 2025 which means an annual growth of 3.8% in all the sectors which include higher education, VET, schools ELICOS, and others.

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Table 1: Projected onshore international enrollments – Higher education

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Table 2: Projected onshore international enrollments – VET

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Table 3: Projected Onshore Enrollments – Schools

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Table 4: Projected Onshore International Enrollments – ELICOS

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Table 5: Projected Onshore International Enrollments – Others

Australia’s international education sector is expected to contribute double ($33 billion by 2025) the export earnings of the country.

The expected source markets for international student enrollment include China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, Malaysia, Brazil, and South Korea with the maximum growth is predicted to be from Asian countries – India, Nepal, Vietnam, and Thailand.

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Table 6: Market Ranking According to International Student Numbers

Higher education growth is expected from China (additional 32,000 enrollments) and India (additional 15,800 enrollments). However, apart from the top eight largest source markets as mentioned in the above table, the growth rate in the fastest growing market is also admissible based on the projections.

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Chart 1: Annual % Enrollment Growth In the Largest Source Markets

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Chart 2: Annual % Enrollments Growth In The Fastest Growing Source Markets

BORDERLESS OPPORTUNITY FOR AUSTRALIA

Based on the participation rates of 25-64-year-olds in formal and non-formal education in the Australian international education market, there are projections that the learners will increase by 1 billion in 2025. If Australia reaches just 1% of these learners, there would be more than 11 million learners in 2025. As this percentage increases, the number of learners would go even higher.

China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, and Hong Kong are among the most prospective regions for the borderless growth of the country based on the education policy and regulations in each market.

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Figure 2: Key Statistics and Market Prospects for Source Markets

Enabling the Opportunities

Although Australia has a huge opportunity to grow in the international education industry, there is an immediate need for taking crucial steps to realize these opportunities. There are enablers which are capable of propelling Australia toward releasing the potential that exists.

ACCESSIBILITY

  • 1. Absolute identification of the existing opportunities and the products or services which are in demand
  • 2. Strategizing brand development plans
  • 3. Establishing connections through partnerships with the stakeholders in the markets
  • 4. Addressing the barriers in time to avoid delay in entry to borderless markets

EXPERIENCE

  • 1. Work towards providing adequate onshore infrastructure to students
  • 2. Engendering positive community attitudes towards international students
  • 3. Ensuring a positive learning experience for onshore and borderless students

OUTCOMES

  • 1. Offering a quality product that helps learners complete their learning and gain the skills and knowledge they desire
  • 2. Providing clear pathways for progression into further study
  • 3. Ensuring that their education is providing the required skills and knowledge to survive in the 21st Century
  • 4. Setting stable and transparent migration policies to provide students with certainty throughout their studies and achievable outcomes post-study
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Figure 3: Impact Of Enablers On Realizing Opportunities And Achieving Objectives

CONCLUSION

As of now, Australia has done a commendable job in overcoming the challenges of the global market, and has successfully leveraged its comparative advantages with great success. These advantages and their potential have to be maintained diligently to strengthen the chances of realizing the existing opportunities. This can be done by:

  • 1. Maintaining the quality of higher education through institutional and course quality maintenance, course recognition and employment outcomes, expanding market outreach to those regions where Australian expertise could dominate
  • 2. Making sure that the overall experience rendered to the students in terms of education, accommodation, safety and community attitude remains positive throughout
  • 3. Maintaining and strengthening the pathways as well as frameworks which can provide the students with certainty
  • 4. Identifying the top sources of international students and expanding and maintaining strong relations with them
  • 5. Focusing on the global objectives of international education and aligning the organizational mission with them to succeed altogether

REFERENCES