Challenges and Opportunities


  • Australia’s global share of international tertiary learners relatively stable
  • Global competition for international students expected to increase over the next decade
  • Tuition and cost of living fees for international students in Australia is relatively high on a global basis


  • Strong Australian brand; third most popular destination for tertiary international learners1
  • Quality institutions and courses on a global level, many of which are accredited and ranked highly2
  • Strong regulatory and quality assurance frameworks for domestic and onshore international students1
  • Restrictions on government supported domestic places at bachelor level were removed in 20123
  • Proximity to Asia with growing 15-29 year old populations and increasing unmet demand for higher education in-country; China aims for 20% of its citizens to have a tertiary degree qualification by 2020; India wants a higher education enrolment rate of 50% by 2030.4
  • Economic development and structural change are driving the need for more highly skilled workers globally – opportunity for niche courses such as tourism, but also a challenge1
  • Recent post-study work opportunities in Australia for onshore international graduates provides a global competitive advantage in attracting students1
  • Proximity to Asia allows for synchronous online education delivery, which is in demand1
  • Strong investment in technology and pedagogy development is allowing Australia to innovate and respond to disruptions in the sector
  • Australia could establish a mid-range education niche, differentiated from top-range providers such as US/UK.1