Quick Bites | Education sector growing in importance
March 24th, 2023 | Article
By: Paul Zwi
International education is a vital part of Australian society. It brings many economic, cultural, and social benefits to our people and businesses. It creates links and life‑long connections with communities and partners across the world. And increasingly, the composition of overseas students in Australia is likely to reflect our global geopolitical relationships – especially with the number of Indian students in Australia steadily rising.
There are sound geopolitical and economic reasons for the bilateral relationship between Australia and India to grow ever closer. Focusing on education illustrates this trend. The Indian government wants to double the percentage of students enrolled in higher education by 2035. Australia is among the countries it has tapped to assist. About 87% of the services Australia exports to India are education-related and worth $6 billion to the economy. Pre-pandemic, the number of Indian students in Australia trailed those from China, but that could change soon. Last year, 148,000 international students started at Australian universities. This included 47,000 from China, an 11.3% decline on the year before, and 29,000 from India, up 160% (although these figures were distorted by Covid-19 realities).
And now Deakin and Wollongong universities are to establish Indian campuses after receiving the green light from New Delhi, which has also decided to recognise dual degrees.
This is a tremendous opportunity for both countries to draw closer together: India is the fastest growing democracy in the world right now, with the world’s largest population (it has either just overtaken China or is soon about to), a dynamic business environment and tremendous long term growth opportunities. We share many cultural and political values, and geopolitical imperatives are likely to bring the two countries closer together.
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