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, and in 2015-16:

  • generated $6.475 billion in export revenue – representing Victoria's best performance to date, surpassing the high of $5.2 billion in 2009 which was at the peak of a strong growth period.
  • supported over 30,000 jobs
  • had a national market share of 31.0 per cent – an improvement compared to 2015, which was 30.3 per cent.

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 2017, QS Best Student Cities awarded Melbourne as Australia's best student city and the fifth best in the world. Key features such as Victoria's high standard and quality of living, vibrant multicultural society and social inclusion attracted 175,000 international students to Victoria in 2016.

A knowledge state

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

  • Six of Victoria's 10 universities appear in rankings of the world's best.
  • Victorian universities have a broad research expertise with 96 disciplines rated 'Above world standard' in the Excellence in Research Australia rankings.
  • Each year approximately 36,000 students from 116 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: 28 February 2017