Australians see gold on road to Bangkok

January 6, 1995

Selling higher education to foreigners is now worth more than $1.5 billion (Pounds 750 million) a year to Australia and the federal government expects earnings to rise sharply following its latest move into Thailand.

In Bangkok late last month, education minister Simon Crean launched the first offshore office of the new Australian International Education Foundation.

Set up to broaden economic and cultural links with Asia, the foundation will coordinate marketing in the face of competition from other countries The number of students from Hong Kong has fallen by 20 per cent over the past two years, whereas from Malaysia it has levelled off. China, which once provided almost half of Australia's international students, is now a relatively minor source.

Similarly, Australia has found it difficult to establish a strong foothold in countries such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan, where students are traditionally attracted to the United States, and has only begun to take advantage of its proximity to Indonesia.

Speaking at the opening of the Thai office, Mr Crean said more than 2,000 students from Thailand were now studying in Australia and the number was growing by 40 per cent a year. There were also opportunities for Australian institutions to undertake training and education in Thailand.

"Australian education and training is now a major export sector. It contributes about $1.5 billion per annum to overseas earnings," Mr Crean said. "With appropriate marketing strategies, this is expected to increase to at least $2 billion per annum within five years. The AIEF will be central to generating and capturing this potential."

Under arrangements with the Thai ministry of university affairs, Australia will assist in the upgrading of academic staff. Senior university administrators will be brought to Australia to understudy their Australian counterparts. Developments in Thailand had created a huge market for high quality education, he said.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns