Economic value of Victoria's international education

International education is a growth sector vital to the future economic prosperity of Victoria and a source of future employment for Victorians.

Victoria's world-class universities, research hubs, Vocational Education and Training (VET) organisations and English language schools are well placed to be world-class industry leaders.

International education is one of the Victorian Government's priority industries and sectors. Growing global demand for education services will see over seven million tertiary students studying outside of their country of citizenship by 2020, and Victoria's worldwide reputation for excellence, quality and innovation places the state in a strong position to capitalise on these demands.

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Working in partnership with overseas providers to design and deliver customised education and training programs and services, international education delivers many economic, social and cultural values to Victoria.

Victoria's largest services export

International education has been Victoria's largest services export industry for over a decade.

  • In 2019, the sector generated a record high $13.7 billion in revenue.
  • International education supported almost 79,000 jobs in 2018.
  • Victoria had a 32.3% share of total Australian onshore enrolments in 2019.

Strong alumni networks

International education delivers to Victoria benefits associated with alumni who become economic, political and cultural leaders. A strong alumni network enables lasting and meaningful relationships between alumni and Victoria, maintaining connections, and developing global research, trade and business links.

First rate student experience

Victoria's coordinated approach to student support and cultural engagement are attractive propositions for global students, parents, governments and industry.

In 2019, QS Best Student Cities awarded Melbourne as Australia's best student city and the third best in the world. Key features such as Victoria's high standard and quality of living, vibrant multicultural society and social inclusion attracted over 250,000 international students to Victoria in 2019.

A knowledge state

Victoria is Australia's most educated state, producing highly skilled professionals who connect and promote our institutions on a global scale:

  • Eight of Victoria's 10 universities appear in rankings of the world's best (2020).
  • Five Victorian universities are in the Top 100 Young University rankings (2019).
  • Victorian universities have a broad research expertise with 109 fields of research assessed as 'Well above world standard' in the Excellence in Research Australia ratings for 2018 - 2021.
  • Over 45,000 students from 160 countries arrive in the state to experience Victoria's world-renowned English language programs (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students - ELICOS)

Page last updated: 23 September 2020