Australian Economy Boosted as Int'l Students Contributed $11.1 Billion in March Quarter

Australia Oceania Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Jun 09, 2023

Australia

International students in Australia have contributed an additional $11.1 billion to the country’s economy in the March quarter, Universities Australia, the peak body for the sector, has announced.

In a statement released on June 6, 2023, the organization said that the amount that international education has added to the economy is seven percent more than the $10.4 billion recorded in March 2019, Erudera.com reports.

International students in the country have contributed 10.85 billion to the economy, while the remaining $10.85 billion were added by students located offshore.

Commenting on the results, Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said that exports support Australia’s economy, and the education sector is the biggest supporter.

“The March result is a new high-water mark – eclipsing the previous biggest quarterly result recorded in 2019 when education peaked as an export. This gives us confidence we will soon regain the position of strength we held prior to the pandemic,” Jackson said.

She further said that international students who complete studies in Australia return to their home countries with a world-class education that serves them to become better citizens of the world and, at the same time to address the challenges the world faces today.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed that international students contributed AUS$ 25.5 billion to the economy last year, which is 3.2 billion more than the previous year. Overall, data indicate that the education sector contributed more than $29 billion to the economy in 2022.

Although international students choose to study and contribute significant amounts to Australia, they report struggles while living there due to the rising cost of living and lack of accommodation.

According to several reports, annual rents in some areas across Australia have increased by 20 percent, increasing the burden on international students who struggle to find a place to stay and now face high costs to pay for that place.

Speaking to Erudera this month about the government’s steps to help struggling international students, the Australian Department of Education reminded students the work hours cap for student visa holders increased, and international students will not be able to work 48 hours per fortnight.

“The work hours cap is intended to balance international students’ need to support themselves and gain work experience in Australia with their main purpose, which is to study in Australia,” a spokesperson for the department told Erudera News.

Throughout the years, Australia has been and remains one of the most preferred study destinations for international students, along with the US, the UK, and Canada. Between 2002 and 2022, 3,054,703 international students studied in Australia, governmental data show.

Of all these students, 89 percent did not continue their studies in 2022, and 11 percent started or continued education in the country.

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