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Education exports hit record high

Education exports hit record high article image

Australia’s international education services sector reached a record high of $18.1 billion last financial year.

This was a 14.2 per cent increase over the previous year.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that education is now by far the major service export, well ahead of tourism, which grew 5.1 per cent to $14.6 billion in 2014-15.

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne said international education is a major employer, supporting about 130,000 Australian jobs.

“These figures confirm once again that international education remains Australia’s largest services export and our fourth largest export overall after iron ore, coal and natural gas,” Mr Pyne said.

The lower Australia dollar is a major factor boosting international student numbers, with the latest figures showing that enrolments in the first half of 2015 reached 465,000, 10.4 per cent above the same period last year. Universities and other higher education providers enrolled 222,000 of these students.

Robust discussions

The strong growth in education export value is a positive lead-in to the federal government's second major industry consultation with international educators in Canberra this week.

"I'm looking forward to further robust discussions on the strategy with education and business experts, students, and community representatives at the Roundtable on International Education at Parliament House next week," Mr Pyne said.

“The Government will continue to work to ensure that international education continues to be a major contributor to the growing strength of the Australian economy and job creation well into the future.”

Education exports peaked in 2009-10 at $16.4 billion before being hit by a downturn.

This was due to a strong Australian dollar, concerns about student safety and poor regulation of vocational education providers. 

Details of the latest international education export figures are available at: International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, June 2015 (ABS).

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