The impact of international students on Australia’s education system has been tremendous. Understandably, Australia’s near neighbours – the Asian and Asia Pacific countries – have had the biggest impact.
In fact, international education is now Australia’s highest earning services export and it just continues to grow.
Students from the Asian countries, most notably from China and India, are undertaking courses in increasing numbers at Australian education institutions, including universities and TAFE colleges and specialist colleges like language schools.
State and Federal politicians recognise the importance of our education system at the global level. Both levels of government work with education institutions to develop opportunities for overseas students to study and undertake a range of courses in Australia.
The Federal Government has even set up Study in Australia, an official website – especially for International Students studying in Australia. It is a one-stop shop for information on courses, universities and colleges, scholarships and general education-related topics. There is also plenty of other useful information about living and studying in this country.
According to the government, Australia is the world’s 3rd most popular international student destination, with 22,000 courses on offer at over 1,000 institutions!
The Council of International Students in Australia (CISA), in its latest estimates says that about 500,000 international students are currently studying in Australia.
The federal government has recently issued a discussion paper which you can download and called for submissions on reforms to education services for international students in Australia.
The government has sought submissions in relation to a review of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act).
According to the government’s discussion paper, the review of the ESOS arrangements is to be undertaken to reflect the significant changes in the education sector including:
- education service requirements
- advances in technology and online learning
- strong global competition
- changing demands of students themselves
Outlined in the discussion paper, ESOS articulates Australia’s commitment to the protection of consumer rights of international students, which it says is unique in the world.
The review of ESOS is a part of the federal government’s plans to cut red tape in the education sector, in line with recently-announced reforms to the vocational education and training (VET) system. The government has made it clear that all reforms in education are designed to maintain a high-quality education system, not just cut red tape.