International education

The Victorian Government is working to leverage Victoria's identity as the education state and to maximise the economic returns and the broader benefits of international education.

The government is also committed to positioning Victoria's international education sector for long term, sustainable growth.

For over ten years, international education has been Victoria's largest services export industry, generating more than $70 billion for the economy in that time. In 2019, the sector generated $13.7 billion in export revenue for the state. International education also supported almost 79,000 Victorian jobs in 2018.

Currently, Victoria accounts for almost one third (32.3%) of Australia's onshore international students and over the past two decades almost one million international students have graduated from a Victorian school, TAFE, college or university.

In 2019, Victoria attracted over 250,000 international students to its shores, with many originally hailing from the Asia Pacific region, including around 88,000 student enrolments from China, 68,000 from India, 14,700 from Malaysia, 13,000 from Vietnam, and 12,000 from Nepal.

However, the significance of international education stretches far beyond its direct export value alone, and requires a holistic view of its broader economic, social and cultural contribution to our state.

This includes the immediate economic and social contributions of students who choose to live, work and study here and the many visiting family and friends who enjoy our state's exceptional tourism offerings.

Read more about the economic value of Victoria's international education.

Victoria's strengths

The state's strengths include:

  • Exporting higher education, vocational education and training, English language training and secondary school education
  • Offshore delivery of education services
  • Innovation in education services
  • High-quality student experience
  • Melbourne recognised as one of the world's premier destination cities for international students. In 2019, QS Best Student Cities awarded Melbourne as Australia's best student city and the third-best in the world.

Sector strategy

International Education Sector Strategy

Page last updated: 9 June 2020