Economic and social value of Victoria's international education

International education is a growth sector vital to the future economic and social prosperity of Victoria and a source of future employment for Victorians.

Victoria's world-class universities, research hubs, Vocational Education and Training (VET) organisations and English language schools are well placed to be world-class industry leaders.

Growing global demand for education services currently sees around six million tertiary students studying outside of their country of citizenship, and Victoria's worldwide reputation for excellence, quality and innovation places the state in a strong position to capitalise on these demands.

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Working in partnership with overseas providers to design and deliver customised education and training programs and services, international education delivers many economic, social and cultural values to Victoria.

Victoria's largest services export

International education has been Victoria's largest services export industry for over a decade.

  • In 2021, the sector generated $6.9 billion in revenue.
  • International education contributed around 41,000 jobs to the Victorian economy in 2021.
  • Victoria had a 31.7% share of total Australian enrolments in 2021.

Strong alumni networks

International education delivers to Victoria benefits associated with alumni who become economic, political and cultural leaders. A strong alumni network enables lasting and meaningful relationships between alumni and Victoria, maintaining connections, and developing global research, trade and business links.

First rate student experience

Victoria's coordinated approach to student support and cultural engagement are attractive propositions for global students, parents, governments and industry.

In 2023, QS Best Student Cities awarded Melbourne as Australia's best student city and the fifth best in the world. Key features such as Victoria's high standard and quality of living, vibrant multicultural society and social inclusion attracted over 182,000 international students to Victoria in 2021.

A knowledge state

Victoria is Australia's most educated state, producing highly skilled professionals who connect and promote our institutions on a global scale:

  • The QS World University Rankings 2023 places six Victorian universities in the top 400 universities in the world, with two in the top 100.
  • Nine of Victoria's 10 universities appear in rankings of the world's best, and we are home to Australia’s top ranked university (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022).
  • Five Victorian universities are in the Top 100 Young University rankings (2022).
  • Victorian universities have a broad research expertise with 109 fields of research assessed as 'Well above world standard' in the Excellence in Research Australia ratings for 2018 - 2021.
  • Over 10,000 students arrive in the state annually to experience Victoria's world-renowned English language programs (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students - ELICOS)

Page last updated: 20 September 2022