Global economic crisis may affect education exports

Global economic crisis may affect education exports

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.

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