A few questions we need to think about in relation to international education
While Australia has a deservedly strong reputation for the number of international students it educates and the consistently high levels of satisfaction these students report, that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels.
Here are just a few of the questions I think leaders in the sector need to be grappling with:
Why, despite the rhetoric, do our efforts at diversifying our international student cohort look like we’re merely paying lip service to the idea? (83% of higher education enrolments and 71% in VET come from just 10 countries.)
Higher education enrolments by country (YTD May 2019)
VET enrolments by country (YTD) May 2019
2. How can agencies like the NSW Auditor General highlight the financial risk for universities in being so reliant on students from just one source country (China) and yet we still have increasing commencements from Chinese students in both higher education and VET (albeit the rate of growth in higher education appears to be slowing)?
Commencements by Chinese students higher education and VET (YTD May 2016 – 2019)
3. Why is there such a difference in the provider profile across the sectors: 84% of international higher education enrolments are in public universities yet fewer than 6% of VET enrolments are in TAFEs? (Enrolments in TAFE have declined in overall numbers as well as in proportion to the growth in international VET enrolments.)
International student enrolments in higher education (YTD May 2016 – 2019)
International student enrolments in VET (YTD May 2016 – 2019)
All data is sourced from the Department of Education, via Austrade’s Market Information Package.
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