More than this, international students have a tremendous impact on the communities in which they live, study and work. We can see and feel, all around us, the benefits they bring: food, culture and diversity; new knowledge and global networks; different ways of thinking.
When international students come to study in Australia, they gain an understanding of our country and its culture. They develop networks and friendships that will remain with them for life, wherever their careers take them.
Among local students and the broader Australian community, international students can inspire a global curiosity – a desire to see and understand more of the world around us. Because when we open our eyes and minds, we realise that (just like international students) we’re all citizens of the world.
International students broaden all of our horizons. Here’s a brief snapshot of the positive impact they have on communities across Australia.
Australia’s largest service export, and 4th largest export overall behind coal, iron ore and natural gas.
(Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018)
Almost 1 in 50 people in Australia are international students.
(Department of Education and Training)
International education supports more than 240,000 jobs across Australia.
(Department of Education and Training, 2018)
“International students help grow the economy by the increased spending and demand for services such as education, hospitality and tourism.
However, the most important contribution that international students bring to the community is diversity. In today’s interconnected world, it is more important than ever to have a greater understanding of different cultures, traditions and languages. I think it is a great thing for Australia that international people can come and immerse in its culture and contribute to what it has to offer.”
PhD student, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW
The number of Australians in tertiary study is at an all-time high. 56% of Australians now hold a post-school qualification – up from 46% in 2006.
(Australian Census, 2016)
International student fees account for more than 25 per cent of funding to Australian universities, which help to subsidise and expand the capacity of our education institutions.
(Department of Education and Training, 2016)
In 2019, Australia hosted around 750,000 students from more than 190 countries – which is almost 3% of the total Australian population.
(International Student Data Monthly Summary, Department of Education, Skills and Employment, December 2019)
“International students bring different life experience, they bring a different culture and a different view of the world.”
Senior Manager & Future Customer Experience, Bendigo Bank
86% of Australians agree that multiculturalism has been good for our country.
(Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016)
In 2017, almost 50,000 local students travelled overseas as part of their studies.
(Australian Universities International Directors’ Forum 2018)
Over 80% of international students between 2000–2014 returned to their home countries (or went to another destination).
(Department of Home Affairs 2018)
“I would highly recommend volunteering because there’s two elements to this.
Firstly, I believe when you give happy, you live happy. Secondly, I feel that volunteering is the best way to engage and embrace Australian values.”
Mobile Relationship Manager, Bendigo Bank
The material contained on this website has been developed by the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) with the support of Australian Government’s Enabling Growth and Innovation program. The views and opinions expressed in the materials do not necessarily reflect the views of or have the endorsement of the Australian Government or of any Minister, or indicate the Australian Government’s commitment to a particular course of action.