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Vic international strategy – Executive Summary

21 July 2015

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The Victorian government has proposed new avenues to grow the state’s international education sector.  It has released a discussion paper on international education as part of its $200 million Future Industries Fund.

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The Victorian Government has identified international education as a growth sector vital to the future economic prosperity of Victoria and a source of future employment for Victorians. This recognises the centrality of international education to this Government’s vision that Victoria becomes the Education State.

International education has stood as Victoria’s largest services export industry for over a decade. In 2013-14, the onshore component of international education generated $4.7 billion in services exports for the State. An estimated 30,000 Victorians are employed by the sector. The outputs of international education are not just skilled graduates. International education offers a platform to assist the Victorian economy and our society to tackle some of the world’s greatest global challenges.

Growing global demand for education services will see over seven million tertiary students studying outside of their country of citizenship by 2020, with demand for education services delivered in offshore settings or through online technologies also rising. By building on our reputation for excellence, quality and innovation, Victoria’s international education sector can capitalise on this demand.

Looking to the future, there are a range of opportunities and challenges facing the sector. The unprecedented modernisation of the economies in Asia is creating huge demand for education services, both onshore and offshore. Many of Victoria’s competitors – the USA, UK and Canada – are investing significant money and effort into attracting a greater share of the ‘Asian education boom’. Victoria’s continued success will depend on its ability to remain at the forefront in delivering a quality education experience.

Future growth and sustainability of the sector will not just come from inbound student programs, but from a more holistic engagement including offshore delivery, digital and online delivery platforms and customised consultancy projects with global partners/governments. To succeed as a global hub for knowledge and international education, support must also involve initiatives that grow two-way student mobility, connecting Victoria and Victorians to the world.

Successive Victorian Governments have supported the international education sector’s development, which has given rise to the strong partnership between government and providers. This will continue as the Andrews’ Government delivers its commitment to position Victoria as the Education State. This means creating a global centre of learning and development excellence, a cohesive education system that relentlessly pursues the best outcomes and opportunities for every learner, regardless of their background or their starting point for learning.

This discussion paper outlines nine strategic directions to guide consultation. Through these nine areas there is a recognition that all parts of the international education ‘value chain’ can benefit from strategic interventions and engagement.

Victoria’s position in international education cannot be taken for granted. International education is a highly dynamic market with fast changing consumer preferences. Victoria’s approach to international education must continue to evolve.

The Commonwealth Government also has an important role to play in supporting Australia’s international education sector. The Victorian Government is working closely to ensure alignment of strategies and future industry plans at the national and state level.

The Future Industries Fund and the development of updated sector strategies will enable Victoria to meet the needs of the inbound student market and increase the capacity of our education institutions to deliver innovative education services offshore and online, in order to fully realise global opportunities.

A number of questions are posed throughout the discussion paper as prompts for your consideration, however we also invite your feedback about the strategic choices Victoria should make now to help set the sector up for continued success, growth and prosperity.

Discussion Paper comments and feedback are requested by 5pm on Monday 17 August 2015.

Submissions can be made via the website www.business.vic.gov.au/futureindustries

See
International Education Discussion Paper
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