Thursday 23 September – At this ACBC Victoria Virtual Roundtable, expert speakers Professor On Kit Tam (Vice President, RMIT University), Professor Pascale Quester (Vice-Chancellor and President, Swinburne University), Kurt Mullane (Acting Executive Director, International Education Division, Victorian Department of Education), Cr Davydd Griffiths (Education and Innovation Portfolio Lead, City of Melbourne), Frances Coppolillo (CEO, Melbourne Polytechnic), and Dr Celina Yu (General Manager, Edvantage Institute Australia) spoke on the importance of the Education sector to the Australian economy and the wider society.
MC’d by the CEO of ACBC Victoria, Virginia Birrell, this was an optimistic forum of ideas in which speakers addressed topics as varied as the crucial role education plays in creating global citizens, the deep and long-standing connections between Australia and China, the plans that are currently laid out for the recovery of the sector, and optimal collaborative pathways for success.
We’d like to thank our knowledgeable speakers for giving us their time and sharing their wisdom. We thank Edvantage Institute Australia for their support of this important forum
Some key takeaways below:
- Australia is the world’s third-largest provider of offshore education.
- Education is Australia’s third-largest export – it brought in about A$40 billion a year prior to the pandemic.
- One-third of overseas students are from the PRC.
- International education has been Victoria’s largest services export for the past 10 years, generating 13.7 billion in revenue in 2019.
- Border closures have led to drops in export revenue down 23% in 2020.
- The Victorian government has shown that it understands the importance of international students to our culture and our economy.
- Swinburne will continue to work with the Victorian government to plan the return of international students to Victoria.
- Directly or indirectly, international education supports a great deal to the economy eg. Over 80,000 Victorian jobs in 2018.
- Swinburne University seeks to enrich the strong educational ties that we have with China.
- 64% of all Chinese students with Australian visas studying with Victorian providers are currently located offshore.
- This is a testament to the strong relationships, reputation, and the quality education offerings in Victoria.
- Victoria is achieving significant impact through the five Victorian Trade and Investment Offices across Greater China in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Nanjing and Hong Kong.
- Melbourne Polytechnic has been delivering programmes to international students on- an off-shore for over 25 years, focussing on an enriching experience for staff and students that leads to more globally connected network.
- A high percentage of residents in the inner city were international students – 15% in Southbank, 14% in Docklands, and 38% within the CBD. There is an absence of vibrancy in the culture due to COVID.
- Any businesses key to success in the international market, including education, is to listen and understand the needs and expectations of partner countries with a long-term strategy in mind.
- Recovery needs to be guided by the long-term principles that have served our past international education sector success.
Watch a recording of this event on the ACBC Insights Centre here