by Paul Bidmeade

Each international student (including their friends and family who visit) contributes an average of $28,921 in value to the Australian economy.

According to a report by Access Economics titled ‘The Australian education sector and the economic contribution of international students,’ the study revealed that for every two formal international students, one friend or relative visited Australia during the students’ stay in Australia.

It’s estimated that this form of tourism contributes $314.7 million to the Australia economy.

With South Australia only gaining 5.5 per cent of the international student market, millions of dollars are going to other states in the battle to secure an economic gold rush of students.

The South Australian Department of State Development (DSD) in conjunction with Business SA has released its International Student Strategy discussion paper.

Through the discussion paper, a spokesperson from the DSD said, “The State Government aims to grow South Australia’s share of the international education market and strengthen Adelaide’s position as a destination of choice for international students.”


UniSA’s City East campus on Adelaide’s North Terrace.

The DSD hopes to utilise South Australia’s benefit as a place with a low cost of living, great lifestyle, and a city ranked highly in terms of safety and liveability.

“South Australia is the only Australian state in which all of its public universities appear on one or more of the major three international ranking systems,” a spokesperson said.

In the International Student discussion paper, the DSD has recommended that “the State Government lobby the Commonwealth Government to review changes to the eligibility for international students to apply for skilled visas; and to make it easier for international students to stay and work in South Australia after completing their qualifications, particularly in industries and occupations with skill shortages.”

“The State Government will continue to advocate for improvements in the Commonwealth’s visa programs, particularly ones which provide opportunities for international student graduates to stay and work in Australia, gain valuable work experience and contribute to our skilled workforce.”

It’s expected the International Student Strategy will be released in the latter half of 2015.

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