08/04/2009 - 22:00

WA draws value from international students

08/04/2009 - 22:00

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The international education sector is worth almost $840 million to Western Australia and employs more than 2,200 people across the state, according to a new Access Economics report.

WA draws value from international students

The international education sector is worth almost $840 million to Western Australia and employs more than 2,200 people across the state, according to a new Access Economics report.

The report, commissioned by the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, found that Australia's international education industry grew by more than 42 per cent in the past three years and now directly employs more than 33,000 Australians.

Overall, the international education sector contributes more than $14 billion to the economy.

Education is now Australia's third biggest export industry, behind coal, valued at $24.8 billion, and iron ore, which contributed $21.3 billion.

International education contributes $839 million to WA's economy every year, the fourth highest of the states behind New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Almost 2,300 Western Australians are employed directly in the international education sector.

ACPET national executive officer Andrew Smith said the report has shown, for the first time, the value of international education to Western Australia in terms of jobs and financial contribution to the state's economy.

"But it's not just about jobs and money, we've found a strong international education industry helps us promote Australia and Western Australia to the rest of the world.

"This highlights the importance of the government continuing to support the growth of international education by not reducing international student numbers as part of migration reform."

Navitas chief executive Rod Jones said the report highlighted the immense economic value of delivering high quality educational services to international students.

Navitas has 25 facilities across Australia and is largely focused on international students, including university pathway programs, English language and training and vocational courses.

"Through this range of programs, we have seen academic enrolments increase from approximately 16,000 to 20,000 international students in the past year and the number of English language students taught in 2009 exceed 15,000," Mr Jones said.

Murdoch University's deputy vice-chancellor Gary Martin said international student numbers made up almost 25 per cent of his university's total enrolment of about 17,500.

"We will continue to accept international students into courses where we've actually got the infrastructure to support it," Professor Martin told WA Business News.

"The recent growth we've experienced in both domestic and overseas students has been phenomenal."

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