Through a series of inquiries, reviews and amendments in the education and immigration systems, Australia is moving to salvage its standing in the ever-competitive international education sector to attract more and more students. This is according to the country’s minister for education, Jason Clare, speaking at the three-day 2023 Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) on 11 October.
“It is important that we get this right. This is about protecting the integrity of international education and protecting your good name, and our reputation worldwide,” Clare said at the AIEC held in Adelaide.
“International education is not just about students coming here. It’s also about taking Australian education to the world,” said the minister.
Survey finds Australia joint top choice
On the second day of the conference, the minister’s message was backed up by the findings of the Emerging Futures 4 survey conducted by global education specialists IDP Connect in August 2023, which were shared with attendees.
The survey collates the views of more than 10,000 prospective applied and current international students, around half of whom are based in India or China and most of the rest are in Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam.
It noted that for the first time in two years Australia has joined Canada as a first-choice study destination, with a 2% increase since the previous Emerging Futures survey conducted in March 2023, whilst Canada has lost 2% since the previous survey.
Answering the question of which destination is our first choice, Australia and Canada had 25% each of respondents followed by the UK (22%) and US (19%), with New Zealand (3%) and Ireland (2%) trailing way behind.
The research also shows that Australia remains the top choice for students from Nepal, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Current students studying in Australia reported a satisfaction rate of 7.5 out of 10; higher than the UK and Canada, and just behind the US with an average of 7.8.
The conference addressed the theme of “International education: visionary and transformative”. Its aim was to explore how the international education sector can continue to transform people, places and ideas to create a more inclusive and connected world.
The organisers estimated that some 1,700 delegates had gathered for the conference to discuss how the sector can continue to thrive amid rapid changes in an ever-evolving social, political and cultural landscape.