Australian Education Exports Reach $25.5bn in 2022, Boosting Pandemic Recovery
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that international students contributed $25.5bn to the Australian economy in 2022, marking a significant rebound from the pandemic. Although not reaching the record of $40bn set in 2019, the figure represents an increase from the $22bn recorded in 2021. The contribution has grown from $16.7bn in the decade since 2012, suggesting a strong trend in the sector. Universities Australia estimates that international students added $29bn to the economy in 2022, including $3.5bn from online enrolments. The sector is expected to continue to grow, particularly with extended post-study work visas in skill shortage areas.
Economic Contribution Expected to Continue Rising:
The rebound in international student contributions comes despite the significant disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysts expect the figure to rise strongly, especially after China’s announcement in January requiring Chinese students to be back on campus this year. The sector is expected to see further growth with the introduction of extended post-study work visas in skill shortage areas.
Universities and Government Officials Collaborate to Promote Education Exports:
Federal Education Minister Jason Clare has travelled to India with 11 Australian university vice-chancellors to strengthen institutional partnerships and collaboration. Clare and his Indian counterpart, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, will sign a mutual recognition of qualifications agreement during the visit. The delegation includes the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Wollongong, Patricia Davidson, who signed an agreement in 2022 to establish a location for teaching, research, and industry engagement in Gujarat.
Sector Provides Important Economic Boost:
The education sector is the largest services export in Australia, providing a significant economic boost to the country. Australia’s national current account surplus for 2020 rose to $14.1bn, thanks to the combined contributions of the mining sector and international students. Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson emphasized the importance of the sector, stating that “International education not only supports the economy, but it also helps Australia make important friends”.
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