Northern Territory wants 10,000 international students by 2025; Nepalese & Indians top target

4 April 2019: The Northern Territory government is finally waking up to the need of wooing international students from across the world who, according to government data, make some $32 billion a year for Australia.

In an attempt to accelerate growth of its share of the lucrative international student market, the Territory Labor Government has launched its International Education and Training Strategy.

The seven-year plan is a key component of NT “government’s blueprint for economic recovery through economic diversification, population growth and local job creation”.

“It aims to grow the population of international students in the NT from 2500 to 10,000 by 2025, which will boost the market’s current $91 million economic contribution to more than $300 million,” the NT government said in a media release today.

Today’s announcement by NT’s Minister for Workforce Training, Selena Uibo, coincides with the International Consultants Education Fair – Australia and New Zealand Agents (ICEF-ANZA) fair being held at the Darwin Convention Centre this week.

As many as 200 education agents from 50 different countries are participating in the three-day event which is due to conclude tomorrow. The event has been called Australasia’s biggest annual study fair. It is a business to business trade fair which aims to inform education agents and travel professionals about the many benefits of studying in the Territory.

Northern Territory government’s focus on education agents comes from its realisation that nearly 75 percent of international students to Australia are recruited through such agencies. These young men and women from across the globe, majority from Asia, contribute some $32 billion dollars to the Australian economy as they pursue higher education at Australia’s world-class universities and training providers.

According to a 2017 analysis by Deloitte, each international student spends an average of $37,400 per year, the news release pointed out.

“The Territory Labor Government’s number one priority is jobs for Territorians and more people means more local jobs,” Selena Uibo was quoted as saying, “International education is already the Territory’s third largest service industry export sector and growing it to 10,000 students by 2025 will more than triple the sector’s contribution to our economy.”

She added that Darwin’s “geographic position gives it a competitive advantage in the rapidly growing Asian markets”. The new Charles Darwin University campus will make studying in Darwin CBD even more attractive, Ms Uibo said. She has promised prospective international students “with world class education and training in a safe and welcoming environment”.

It is noteworthy that Nepal and India are top two countries of origin when it comes to the total international student population in the Territory – Nepal accounts for 18 percent and India 13 percent.

Ms Uibo recently led a trade delegation to Nepal and India “to build relationships with those two countries and promote the benefits of studying in the Northern Territory”.

According to a report last month, in December 2018 there were 439 Nepalese students in the Territory as compared with 305 from India and 246 from China. Hence, the Northern Territory government’s particular attention to the student import markets of the two South Asian nations.

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