Deborah Terry says Curtin is targeting international students, both onshore and offshore. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Universities head hunt for international students

The value of international education is unquestioned.

Export income attributed to onshore international students was valued at $18.8 billion in 2015, making it the country’s third largest export.

In Western Australia, the number of international student enrolments rose to a record 55,274 in 2016 after slumping as low as 41,500 in 2012.


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Good to see WA universities seeking more ambitious growth. It's not climate, time zones or beaches that will attract international students from key source countries in the Asia Pacific region. The success of major destination cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, London and New York is closely linked to large flows of migrants, business and tourism. Perth needs to develop niches to compete globally- building internships into the curriculum, using online platforms for offshore delivery, providing international study tours (such as a UK university sending 1,000 students to New York), affordable student accommodation and a welcoming on- and off-campus experience.

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1st↑South Metropolitan TAFE45,000
2nd-Curtin University40,141
3rd-North Metropolitan TAFE30,000
4th-University of Western Australia24,055
5th-Edith Cowan University23,047
48 tertiary education & training providers ranked by total number of students in WA

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