Friday, 31 Oct 2008
The current economic crisis has the potential to reverse, or at least slow down, the growth of international student numbers in Australia, according to a paper presented to a conference on the economics of education in Melbourne today.
International education contributed $12.5 billion in export income to the Australian economy in 2007, up 17% since 2006. Education is the third largest export sector behind coal and iron ore. Universities rely on international student fees for about 15% of their funding. Around 18% of Australia’s tertiary enrolments are by international students – well above the OECD average of 7%. Among the other OECD countries only New Zealand (16%), the United Kingdom (14%) and Switzerland (14%) come close to the Australian proportion.