Australian International Education: 3 Forthcoming Trends That Promote Sustainability

Australia is one of the major study destinations that went into strict border closures during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. International students could not travel to the country to complete their studies which made them defer or drop out of their respective academic programs. This is a striking concern for Australian international education as most higher educational institutions rely mainly on international enrollments for income.

Key Takeaways:

  • Australia incurred losses in international education income due to pandemic
  • There is growth and opportunity for Australia by 2025
  • Major shift of in person learning to virtual platforms
  • Borderless education promotes sustainability aside from virtual learning

Projections on the Growth and Opportunity of Australian International Education

Based on research done by Deloitte Access Economics and EduWorld using 29 markets, it is foreseen that enrollments in Australia will grow to 940,000 in the year 2025. This is equivalent to an annual growth rate of 3.8%. With regards to student source markets, the top eight countries will still bring in more traffic for onshore international enrollments. 

One of the forthcoming trends in Australian international education will be an increase in enrollments for high education and Vocational Education and Training (VET).

In terms of financial contribution to the economy of Australia, it is expected to reach $33B by 2025. 

 

From In-Person to Virtual Learning

One of the major changes that international students experienced whilst pursuing their Australian education during the COVID-19 pandemic was to attend their classes using online platforms. One of the top problems international students faced was insufficient engagement with regards to the teaching staff. There was very limited interaction which hinders growth for learning. Aside from that, there was a lack in the synchronization of lessons presented by the professors in Zoom lectures and digital files circulated in class.

As time passed, the institutions and the students were able to adapt to the changes in the teaching system. Though not having a seamless start, virtual learning suggests a sustainable move in making international education successful in Australia.

 

Borderless Education: Immense Possibilities

Borderless international education includes ELICOS, VET and institutions that allow students to learn in a different location from the awarding institution. Australia is one of the main leaders when it comes to borderless education at the tertiary level. International students located in underdeveloped nations can have access to quality education offered by Australia in local partner universities. While in the past years, onshore enrollments were a trend, when the pandemic hit, international students have also found ways in securing high quality education that can be taken in their country of origin. With borderless education, if there are drastic changes in territory protocols concerning the pandemic, students can still move forward in gaining Australian education in their local regions.

In total, Australian providers were able to produce 9 million students in 2015. At present, if 1% of all students proceed with an Australian education, the projection would be approximately 11.1 million students by 2025.


There is no doubt that after 2 years of learning from the downfalls of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia will slowly rise up amidst upcoming challenges in the future. With the nation’s proven track record of providing high quality education for students across the world, these new ways will make international education sustainable year by year.  (SUNEETHA QURESHI)

SUNEETHA QURESHI
MSM President - Global

Suneetha has more than 10 years of experience in the international education sector. As president of MSM, she fortifies its business development outreach globally, particularly in the face of MSM’s foray into edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. She preserves the premium, value-adding services provided to each MSM partner institution, including dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and inquiry management, application pre-screening, and student and parent support through pioneering pre-departure briefing sessions.

She has an impeccable track record of successfully launching the representative offices in Asia and Africa of many North American and European higher education institutions. Her key strengths include hiring, training, and developing teams as evidenced by the successful results of the dedicated in-country college and university client teams.

Suneetha also has taken the lead in developing several initiatives at MSM, including building robust standard operating procedures, the Rise ‘n Shine team engagement platform, and the organization’s data analytics and audit segments.

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