International education sector in the eye of the storm

The international education industry is in the middle of a perfect storm which is unlikely to subside for some time, according to a leading economist.  

Speaking at the Australian Tourism Export Council Meeting Place Conference in Sydney yesterday, Access Economics director Chris Richardson told delegates international education had been a success story for Australia in the last decade, providing a world class education cheaper than the US and UK.

However, he said policy changes aimed at loosening the link between study and permanent residency, college closures, rising visa costs and the recent spate of attacks on Indian students had all combined to damage the country’s reputation among prospective students. He added:

Add in the soaring Australian dollar and education elsewhere is more competitive than it used to be. And this lingers, because if a student decides not to take up a three-year course, the impact is felt for three years.”

Richardson said interest rates are likely to rise further while the dollar will remain high for another year before tailing off as interest rates start to rise in the rest of the developed world.

He added: “We are going to enter the next phase of the resources boom without the people power because migrants aren’t politically popular and interest rates will head up further.”

0 thoughts on “International education sector in the eye of the storm

  • December 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Should have been no surprise, signs were apparent up to 18 months ago….. with PR pathways restricted, etc. However, the buzzword in the industry, according to a longtiime college owner, is “social media”, which has been ignored/avoided.

    Education marketing/promotion/sales channels, like other service industries, should be in state of transition with internet.

    However, feedback over 5 years ago from state sector personnel (including state bodies who are supposed to market Oz ed) over past years was exemplified by “we know internet is more effective and economic, but we would not need to travel (to fairs, expos, seminars, conferences, workshops etc.)”.

    2010? Institution trying to break into a mature market in Europe has budget $AUD50k++, less then 10% spent online marketing, rest spent on physical events and travel…….

    As owner above observed, too many “marketing” personnel promoting themselves at the expense of their institution (using effective online from onshore).


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