International students are flocking to South Australia from all over the world, according to new data.
Figures from the Federal Department of Education show there are 38,367 international students in SA.
SA Trade Minister David Ridgway said student enrolments for the first seven months of this year were up 13 per cent, compared with the same period last year.
That was well above the national growth rate of 9 per cent.
The surge is being driven, in part, by more students from a wider range of countries – including the Philippines, Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka and Taiwan – choosing to study in Adelaide.
“This trend is fantastic to see and provides further opportunities for cultural exchange, integration and diversification to take place within South Australia,” Mr Ridgway said.
About 18,000 international students have commenced studies in SA so far this year, up 16 per cent compared with the same time last year.
Colombian Karen Figueroa, 28, who is undertaking a masters in financial planning at UniSA, said she and her husband would love to call Adelaide home for good once she completed university.
“I have fallen in love with Australia, the lifestyle and the people,” she said.
“I love the multicultural environment.
“Colombia is beautiful, and my family is still there, but the political and social situation is not the best.”
Brazilian Aguinaldo Nunes, 30, who is studying general English at Kaplan International Languages, was convinced by a friend to study in Adelaide.
“I have a friend here and he told me how nice the city is and the people are,” he said.
“The weather is quite similar to Brazil.”
A breakdown of enrolments shows a 29 per cent growth in the vocational education and training sector (VET) and 15 per cent growth in the higher education sector.
The State Government has aspirations to grow international enrolments by 2.5 per cent each year.
That would increase the number of overseas students in SA to 71,000 by 2030. Mr Ridgway said the sustained growth was fantastic news for the state.
“An independent report, released by commercial real estate firm JLL, highlights the whole-of-economy impact the international education sector has, including significant stimulus to the construction industry with $525 million in accommodation projects currently in development,” Mr Ridgway said.
There was also strong growth in international students from traditional markets, including India (up 56 per cent), Vietnam (18 per cent rise) and Nepal (29 per cent).
TAFE Queensland plans to spend more than half a million dollars on international travel this financial year as staff jet off to the US, France, China and Fiji.
The organisation will increase its travel spend this year while expecting to record a $38 million deficit in 2019-20, according to the June budget – a blowout from the $11 million loss predicted by the audit office.
TAFE Queensland has budgeted $669,775 for overseas-related expenses in 2019-20, up from $551,946 in 2018-19.
More than half of next year’s travel bill ($412,200) will be for China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia and Taiwan, while $135,100 will be spent travelling to Southeast Asia, including Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore and Thailand.
Other destinations include South Africa, the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Peru, Canada, New Zealand and Nepal.
Training Minister Shannon Fentiman said for every dollar TAFE Queensland spent on overseas costs in 2018-19, $56 of international training revenue was generated.
“In 2019-20, TAFE Queensland has budgeted international training revenue of more than $32.5 million and overseas-related expenditure of $669,775, representing 2 per cent of total international training revenue,” she said, in response to a question on notice tabled during estimates hearings.
Ms Fentiman said international education and training was worth $4.6 billion to Queensland’s economy and supported more than 21,000 jobs.
In May, the Queensland Audit Office revealed TAFE Queensland’s financial performance was at risk because of declining student numbers and revenue, without an equivalent reduction in expenses.
Meanwhile, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training spent $1.02 million on conferences, workshops, catering and hospitality in 2018-19.
That included $262,208 on staff training and development, $288,412 on entertainment such as food and drinks, $138,431 on refreshments and light meals, and $324,268 on venue hire.
Ms Fentiman said the cost – estimated at $950,000 – was less than 0.1 per cent of the department’s total budget.
In February, Brisbane Times revealed TAFE Queensland overspent the budget for its student management IT system by $1.4 million, or 32 per cent.
It spent $2.83 million on the student management system in 2018-19, coming in $707,699 under budget.
The IT system allows processing of student enrolments, course fees, payment plans, student results and printing of awards.
Ms Fentiman was being grilled at estimates hearings on Thursday afternoon.
Since the expectations of today’s workforce have altered, career makeovers and new-collar jobs have become two major topics.
In their Future of Jobs report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) clarifies that by 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have presented us with advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Therefore, it has become a pressing requirement for students to upgrade their skills and to future proof their careers with courses that understand and integrate the importance of today’s rapid technological change.
Outlined by Forbes, “New collar jobs span multiple disciplines and you don’t require a college or university degree. To qualify for them, you need vocational training in relevant technical and soft skills.”
A growing category, classic new-collar jobs include cloud computing technicians, cybersecurity analysts, user interface designers, and other IT-based roles.
Regardless of your current career stage, switching over to a new-collar job is possible. By undertaking a career makeover with vocational and niche training courses that equip you with desirable soft skills, you’ll be adding another dimension to your CV by appealing to both emerging and traditional job roles.
“Employers like self-directed learners who update their skills and refresh themselves. You must be agile and resilient to successfully navigate your way in the workplace of today. The good news is that continuous learning will place you leaps and bounds ahead of other professionals when it’s time for a career makeover, “ Forbes notes.
Connecting fresh academics to inner ambition is an equation for career success. Yet, you must ensure that the training provider you opt for has an open-minded outlook on the future of workplaces and caters for 21st-century career changers.
That’s why flexible programmes are becoming more popular as students want to learn at their own pace or further their studies while working.
Driven to keep up with the digital transition, students that opt for additional vocational courses speed ahead of those that are staying put in the third industrial revolution instead of evolving alongside the fourth.
Here are 3 Australian training providers that connect academics to ambitions…
An integral partner of the global higher education pioneer, Navitas Group, Deakin College is known as a melting pot of cultures, attracting students from all over the world and preparing learners for a globalised workspace.
It doesn’t matter if you doubt your education or job history, because this College provides a direct pathway to future success through its three diverse campus locations and supports a successful transition to further studies at Deakin University.
By connecting programmes and diplomas to your professional aspirations, you can study a variety of disciplines such as foundation studies, business, commerce, communication, construction management, design, engineering, film, tv & animation, health sciences, information technology and a Masters Qualifying Program (MQP), which leads to postgraduate studies at Deakin University.
Delivering innovative teaching and learning, positive student experience and engagement with digital learning technologies, Deakin College acknowledges the industry demands and pressures students face, that’s why the Student Learning Advisors are always available to support students in areas such as understanding their assignments, research skills and valuable study skills such as time management, referencing and how to avoid plagiarism.
With a reputation for being unique and visionary, consistently forging new paths both locally and globally, Deakin College is a smart study destination that enables you to achieve your career ambitions and encourages you to kickstart your future.
To find out more or apply to study at Deakin College click here.
Preparing students for the future with the development of soft skills and real-world experience, TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training and education provider.
Standing for Technical and Further Education (TAFE), this education provider has campuses all across New South Wales, meaning international students can choose to study at over 50 locations!
By providing high quality, personalised vocational education and training to build prosperity, sustainability and innovation throughout New South Wales and beyond, more than 500,000 students enrol in TAFE NSW courses and training each year.
With over 230 courses available to international students and flexible English language courses commencing every Monday, 50 weeks of the year, TAFE NSW has always been a trusted choice, connecting you to teachers who excel in their profession and bring their expertise to the classroom.
Passionate about helping you build skills, to be ambitious and become inspired to achieve a brighter future, this Australian training provider offers you widely-recognised qualificationsthat meet national standards and is based on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF).
For international student, Ron Rocio from the Philippines, TAFE NSW allowed him to grow as both a person and a professional.
“I gained a practical and efficient education and I’m very excited to show the world what a TAFE NSW graduate can really do! So, if you want to learn practical I-need-these-skills-to-actually-become-employable skills, go for TAFE NSW!” Ron explains.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s your time to be trained by industry experts, to be job-ready and feel connected to a diverse community with TAFE NSW.
TAFE NSW: Registered Training Organisation 90003, CRICOS Provider Number 00591E, Higher Education Provider PRV12049.
With the slogan, “Learn it. Work it”, TAFE SA in Adelaide takes a direct approach to work-integrated learning and vocational training.
Believing that international students from more than 70 countries choose to study at TAFE SA for their quality of education and the enviable South Australian lifestyle, this training provider has both a location appeal and a learning appeal on their side.
Built in the heart of Adelaide, their English Language Centre (ELC) offers affordable, intensive English language programmes tailored to international students. Taking your employability skills to the next level; TAFE SA intensive English language courses will develop your English skills for future employment.
Understanding what’s required from employees during the fourth industrial revolution, TAFE SA places innovation at the forefront of their ambitions. Boasting a growing list of industry partners, the training provider is constantly updating their courses, facilities and methods of delivery to suit the latest career trends.
To meet industry demands, TAFE SA even has a new Simulated Business Community that operates like a real business with products and brands developed, marketed and traded, but in a no-risk virtual economy where students in business administration, finance, marketing and procurement can gain critical workplace skills in a practical environment regardless of their location.
Pushing student industry insights five steps further, TAFE SA is thinking ahead.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International.
The best way to reverse the fall in enrolments at government-funded vocational education providers is to restore funding to TAFE and return it to being the primary provider of vocational education in Australia.
According to a new report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), student numbers, subject enrolments and training hours at public vocational training providers all fell in 2018.
AEU Federal TAFE Secretary Maxine Sharkey said that the Morrison Government’s obsession with private vocational education providers at the expense of TAFE was already hurting the career prospects of thousands of Australians who need access to affordable and high quality vocation education.
“TAFE is one of the crown jewels of the Australian education system. However, it’s clear that years of funding cuts and official disinterest by successive Federal Coalition governments have left TAFE, our world-class publicly-owned vocational education provider, in a weakened state,” Ms Sharkey said.
“This has resulted in falling student numbers and TAFE campus closures. The solution is quite simple. We need a strong public TAFE sector that is fully funded.”
According to the NCVER figures, in 2018, compared with 2017:
- estimated student numbers decreased by 1.9%
- subject enrolments decreased by 5.7%
- hours and full-year training equivalents (FYTEs) decreased by 6.4%
The figures also reveal that since 2013, the year the Federal Coalition was elected, the number of students in government-funded vocational education has fallen by 25%, from 1.48 million to 1.1 million. In addition, the number of hours of vocational education delivered has fallen by 28% between 2013 and 2018.
“The introduction of private-for profit education providers has been a disaster for Australia’s vocational education system,” Ms Sharkey said.
“History has shown that private providers aren’t interested in quality education – they are interested in profits.”
“The private sector’s idea of VET-sector competition is to drive down costs and standards and drive the ‘competition’ (read TAFE) out of business. Then it can jack up its prices and force students to pay through the nose,” Ms Sharkey said.
“The Australian Skills Quality Authority, the Government’s own regulator, said parts of the Australian training market are already in a race to the bottom. The Productivity Commission has described the Australian VET system as a mess.”
Ms Sharkey said that TAFE must remain a strong public provider of vocational education in Australia. She called upon the Morrison Government to:
- Guarantee a minimum of 70% government funding to the public TAFE system. In addition, no public funding should go to private for-profit providers, consistent with other education sectors.
- Restore funding and rebuild the TAFE system, to restore confidence in the quality of the courses and qualifications and the institution.
- Abandon the failed student loans experiment, and cancel the debts of all students caught up in private for-profit provider scams.
- Re-invest in the TAFE teaching workforce and develop a future-focused TAFE workforce development strategy in collaboration with the profession and unions.
- Develop a capital investment strategy in consultation with state governments, to address the deplorable state of TAFE facilities around the country.
- Support a comprehensive independent inquiry into TAFE.
“Any proposal which undermines the importance of the Commonwealth and state and territory governments working together to build a strong, vibrant, fully funded public TAFE will be fiercely opposed by the AEU,” Ms Sharkey said.