Goal 9: Embracing opportunities to grow international education

Australia will embrace opportunities to grow international education by being more innovative, inclusive and responsive to the needs of students and employers.

Action 9.1

Building on innovative education and training services to meet student and employer needs

New educational products and services offer new opportunities for students. In particular, improved technologies enable us to be a borderless society, where learning can occur anywhere at any time. This is fuelling new ways of education delivery, including onshore, in-market and online. At the same time, today’s students are more connected, more mobile and more affluent. They want greater choice in what, where, when and how they learn, and in the services available to them. 

Australian education providers have embraced technology and innovation in learning, teaching and student services, and have proven their ability to quickly adapt and respond to new technology, student choice and emerging global demands. Learning management systems, adaptive learning technology and online continuous professional development are all delivering new ways of global learning. We are also learning from our students—new research into how students learn is helping to optimise educational technology and course design.

Australia will:

  • embrace technology to support the development of cutting-edge education and training services
  • embrace innovative education, training and research practices developed both nationally and internationally.

Action 9.2

Promoting opportunities in regional Australia

Although international students have traditionally gravitated towards major cities, there are often significant advantages in choosing a regional Australian education experience. 

International student satisfaction with the living and learning experience in regional Australia consistently rates highly. These ratings are based on lower living costs, greater access to accommodation and work opportunities, closer interaction with the local community, and access to Australia’s natural environment. Many of Australia’s top areas of research strengths are located in regional Australia. These include agriculture, marine science and tropical medicine.

In turn, regional communities that have embraced international students have benefited through improved cultural understanding and international connections, helping them reach out to the world.

We will promote the positive benefits to the student and the wider community of education in regional Australia. We will also promote excellence in regional disciplines to attract international students and researchers.

Australia will:

  • attract more international students to regional communities by promoting internationally the excellence and the advantages of education, training and research in regional Australia.

Action 9.3

Identifying and responding to new opportunities

New opportunities in education, training and research will support the growth of the sector, and the delivery of products and services for our future students, business and industry. Opportunities may arise in terms of new markets, new partnerships, new areas of teaching and research, new technology, and new modes of delivery. 

Australia's world-class international education sector has been built through its agility in identifying and responding to new opportunities throughout the world, while remaining dedicated to quality. 

We must continue to exercise this agility in finding new and innovative connections that will meet student, business and industry needs, and further develop the sector. Accurate and timely market research and intelligence will be critical. We will need to ensure that we are appropriately targeting our resources to identify and respond quickly to new and emerging opportunities.

Australia will:

  • conduct market research and intelligence sharing to inform new policies and strategic directions for international education
  • be agile and responsive to opportunities to increase the number of international students and international partnerships, capitalising on identified growth areas such as schools.

Student-centred technology is changing the way we teach and learn

An Australian innovation is changing the global approach to teaching and learning. Moodle—an online, open platform learning management system (LMS)—is paving the way for customised education interactions. The company’s mission is to support teachers to teach and students to learn.

From its beginnings in Perth in 2001, Moodle has expanded to a global community of more than 70 partners, 200 active developers and 65 million users. The company counts some multinational corporations and world-leading education institutions, such as Monash University, among its millions of users. When Monash University was looking to upgrade its LMS, the flexibility offered by Moodle gave Monash academics new opportunities to design content and activities with the student experience at the fore.

Living laboratories for climate change

The Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is blending social sciences and technology research by creating buildings and precincts of sustainability and low carbon living. Building on its multidisciplinary research base, the CRC is examining how communities live and interact with new energy and sustainability technologies. Three ‘living laboratories’ are testing integrated energy, water, waste and transport solutions. The researchers are measuring the social factors associated with sustainability, such as the value proposition for residents and the choices they make. This research aims to provide the tools for reducing the carbon footprint of urban systems.

The CRC is a partnership between industry, government organisations, overseas universities, Curtin University, the University of New South Wales, the University of South Australia, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University of Technology, the United Nations Environment Programme and CSIRO.