We recently had the pleasure of sponsoring and attending the Council for International Students Association (CISA) 2017 Annual Conference held in Canberra. It was a tremendous event with engaging topics and key note speakers. Additionally, meeting all the international students and leadership representatives was a genuinely engaging and uplifting experience.
We honestly felt that if you could bottle the humanity that existed with all the attendees at the conference and spread it around the world what a wonderful place it would truly be!
There is no doubt that education is a central pillar of our economy. Not only does the education sector employ nearly 8% of Australian workers, it is one of our largest export earners bringing in around A$17 billion or more a year.
While the education of international students brings in considerable revenue to higher education institutions, this income has flow-on effects for the rest of the economy.
Workers employed by institutions spend their wages on products and services, which increases employment in Australia. And unlike income from mining exports, the consumers of these education services (the international students) also reside in Australia, further increasing spending on local products and services, particularly food, housing and transport.
These additional university revenues are also used to fund in part the education of Australians, and important research activities within universities.
One of the main attractions of studying in Australia for our international students is the opportunity of staying in Australia afterwards to work and live in our very attractive society. This opportunity is extremely important in maintaining the competitiveness of studying in Australia relative to our competitors, particularly the UK, the US and Canada. Australia is by no means a cheap destination for international students.
Maintaining our competitiveness in the future will remain a challenge. Tinkering with immigration rules may have consequences for this very important source of revenue for our higher education institutions.
While university rankings are often maligned, international students do look at them. Ensuring Australian universities do not fall down these rankings amid expanding higher education sectors globally requires strength in the performance of our universities – both from an academic rigour perspective but also providing equitable employability services.
Education and employability skills development are central to our society and our material well-being. Ensuring that Australia continues to encourage appropriate investment in education into the future will be a key objective for our policy makers.
The Bouncement ecosystem is of significant benefit to international students in helping them navigate the world of work. Join for free and participate in the employability community.
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Join Bouncement for free to build your Bouncement Employability Profile, and then access the Bouncement Forum for advice on how to further develop your employability skills.