Australia - Country Commercial Guide
Education and Training

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-07-19

UNESCO Student Mobility Number: Australia has 13,268 students studying abroad according to UNESCO.

Overview 

Australia has 43 universities, with more than 1.4 million enrolled local and international students. Education services is one of Australia’s top five exports, valued at U$26 billion (2019). The top five countries where international students come from are: China (30%), India (17%), Nepal (8%), Vietnam (4%), and Malaysia (3%). During the 2019-2020 academic year, there were 8,252 U.S. study abroad students in Australia.

Australian students have traditionally pursued studies abroad. The unique mix of professional, academic, athletic, and social opportunities available within U.S. schools has made the United States one of the most attractive destinations for these students. During the 2020-2021 academic year, 3,623 Australians studied in the United States according to the 2021 Open Doors Report. Of these, approximately 2,082 Australian students pursued an undergraduate degree, 972 pursued a graduate degree, and 510 students chose Optional Practical Training (OPT).

There is a broad academic and geographic distribution of Australians at U.S. universities. Undergraduate Australian students tend to focus on liberal arts and sciences, business, international relations, film, or art. Graduate students generally pursue law, business management, or advanced science. The top five receiving states are: California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Australia has many accomplished athletes and many Australian student athletes are interested in obtaining athletic scholarships to universities in the United States. Australia ranks among the top five sending countries of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)-eligible athletes to the United States. Some of the popular sports are basketball, tennis, soccer, track and field, and swimming.

Sub-Sectors

Education Technology

The Australian education technology market is dynamic and evolving. This market is valued at US$1.5 billion in 2022. The most common solutions of EdTech organizations in Australia target the primary, secondary, and higher education sectors. This focus seems to be closely aligned with government spending in these areas.

In its 2020-2021 budget, the Australian government announced significant funding for initiatives to improve the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in early learning and schools. In 2022, the government has provided additional funding to boost girls’ and women’s participation in STEM and entrepreneurship.

Opportunities

Australia and the United States have similar education systems, so Australian students can transition to U.S. institutions relatively seamlessly. Australian students are attracted to the unique characteristics of U.S. university life: collegiate sports, interdisciplinary/liberal arts degrees, and life within a close-knit campus environment.

Summer Work Travel Programs

Australia and New Zealand are currently participating in a pilot program that allows qualified exchange visitors from the respective countries to have the opportunity to gain international cultural exposure and work and travel experience for up to twelve months in the United States, with a U.S. student doing the same in Australia or New Zealand. For more information: https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/summer-work-travel/

Education Technology and Distance Learning

The online education industry in Australia has a high potential for globalization as online course delivery removes national boundaries and allows for competition at a global level. The trends towards reskilling, upskilling, and lifelong learning for professional development are also expected to support growth in this flexible method of study. Improvements in technology infrastructure are further anticipated to facilitate the industry’s growth.

There are significant opportunities in Australia for U.S. EdTech firms. Some of the most appealing EdTech products and services to the Australian market include STEM in education such as robots and coding, innovative classroom resources, Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR), and gamification.

Events

The EducationUSA offices in Australia support several education fairs held in Australia throughout the year. More info can be found on the EducationUSA Australia- Events Facebook Page.

Resources