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Overseas students worth $1bn to SA’s economy

Posted on December 30, 2010
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INTERNATIONAL education is worth more than $1 billion to SA’s economy, second only to wine.

Increased global competition, a rising Australian dollar and tightened visa rules have clouded the sector’s prospects in 2011.

International education has overtaken iron and copper ore mining in export earnings, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

The sector is now valued at $1.052 billion.

Premier Mike Rann welcomed the figures but conceded that international education faced “challenges” in coming months.

“We face a high Aussie dollar, increased global competition and changes to the Commonwealth’s visa policy, all of which have made it more difficult for some students to come and study in Australia,” he said.

“Changes to the Skilled Migration List are also limiting opportunities for students to stay and work in Australia after they’ve graduated.

“While the market is slowing due to external pressures, South Australia continues to outperform much of the country.”

The state’s share of the national education market is 5.6 per cent, compared to 5.4 per cent at the same time last year.

Latest figures from the federal government show a small amount of growth.

The number of new and continuing enrolments stood at 34,384 students to the end of November. This was up from last year’s figure of 33,731 enrolled in December 2009.

Mr Rann said the Government planned to increase fines for compliance breaches by education providers from $5000 to $100,000.

“Our high quality education sector has an international reputation and we’ve been prepared to make the difficult decisions to remove non-compliant providers.”

Adelaide Pacific International College was deregistered in July amid allegations it was a front for an immigration scam, giving training certificates to paying students while not requiring them to complete work.

It has been a controversial year for the international education sector in SA.

US-based Carnegie Mellon was plagued by continued low enrolments and it emerged in May the State Government had spent $250,000 renting space for its second campus, which had been closed for two years.

UK-based Cranfield University also closed its Victoria Square office in August at the end of its three-year term.

Source: Adelaide Now

 

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