A $3.5 million campaign will target the lucrative overseas higher education market over the next nine months in an attempt to entice more students to study in Australia.
Educators will push the benefits of Australian courses at international events in China (a major target), India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand amid concerns that these markets are under threat from international competitors. Which is true with the United States leading the charge.
The higher education sector will be promoted with more support offered to education agents to direct students to Australian institutions. The welfare of international students, and the support network available to them in Australia, will be reviewed as part of the strategy to maintain existing numbers.
The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has said she was increasingly concerned about faltering overseas enrollments. Today the Government’s Australian Education International will release the January enrollment figures for students from overseas.
Ms Gillard said early signs for this year were encouraging, but action was needed because of the worsening global economic crisis. ‘I want Australia to be seen by international students as a welcoming place to study for a globally recognized education qualification,’ she said.
Ms Gillard said higher education was becoming more competitive and greater intelligence was needed about what the country’s international competitors were doing.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that in a review of higher education, Professor Denise Bradley said Australia was the fifth largest recipient of overseas higher education students among OECD countries in 2005 and the third largest English-speaking destination for overseas students, behind the US and Britain.