Phil Payne says StudyPerth is planning to launch a destination marketing campaign over the next three years, with China a priority. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

International students bypass WA

South Australia is giving Western Australia a run for its money in the race to attract international students.


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All else being equal, SA should not be catching up or surpassing WA. It is also a resources and tourism economy, relatively isolated with few direct international flights, and does not offfer much in terms of professional employment post-graduation. So what’s different? Much higher investment by the state and the institutions in destination marketing and, yes, bonus regional migration points. Also, two universities (Adelaide/UniSA) are considering a merger, so watch out for greater resourcing and competition in the international marketplace from SA against the dissipated effort from five individual WA unis. It’s the team that wins in the end.

Perth WA
As an international trader with connections to universities from France to Moscow, I spoke to UWA and Murdoch in March 2014 about setting up international student exchange. There was no interest at all, so now they go to the other states.

Sue Ellery’s cuts and changes to International programs operated by colleges such as Canning College has contributed greatly to the dramatic drop in enrolments. International students come to interact with local students, and this changed earlier this year (following the state government's decision). Hence, full fee paying parents send their children to other states where they get that interaction with local students, which is why they chose international education experience over keeping them at home.

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