Australia is one of the leading destinations for students seeking international education as well as lecturers and other staff of institutions of higher learning. It is a country with less cases of crime and this makes it an ideal place for visitors and other people who wish to become residents. Australian education system dates back in mid 19th century when the first two Australian universities, Sydney University and Melbourne University, were opened.
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Since then the education sector in Australia has been growing with a number of world class schools and well recognized degree programs being developed. In the 1960s the higher education system in Australia underwent a great improvement which so a number of institutions coming up.
This spawning of institutions of higher learning encouraged competition which in turn brought recognition to the education system in Australia. Australia universities have always featured in the top 100 world university ranking by times higher education supplement and this has made many universities to improve on their service delivery by upgrading their facilities, teaching staff as well as coming up with innovative and competitive degree programs which are meant to attract more students.
There are many learning options offered by the Australian universities. They range certificates, associate degrees, bachelors’ degrees, masters’ degrees to doctorate degrees. This means a student can study in Australia at any level of their educational career (Allan, Cheung, 2011).
Australia capitalizes on their serene learning environment and offer flexible programs to give time for other activities. Students can also study on customized timetables with the open universities Australia year round study. A health care program for students has been developed in the country to cater for those taking their studies in the country. In additional to this, Australian universities have set guidelines which maintains and rewards good practice to ensure safety for all students.
Australia as a country is appealing and offers a wonderful opportunity to students who wish to pursue a degree in various environmental studies. It has a lot to offer in terms of nature and have unique animals like the kangaroo. This means that student studying in Australia will have more than just quality education.
There are other recreational areas like the Great Barrier Reef which offers an ideal environment for sporting activities. The major cities also attract international students and offers attractions ranging from zoos, hotels and night clubs. Australia is also rich in culture and students who choose to study in the country experience cultural diversity.
Education is among the 17 divisions of the Australian economy and one of the major Contributors (Marginson, 1993). Australia offers education opportunity from preschool to postgraduate in either public or private institutions. International students provide an export for Australian education system and contribute immensely to the economy.
Their contribution is in terms of the tuition fees they pay to the Australian universities. Those studying in Australian universities outside the country as well as those in distance learning provide the much needed foreign exchange. International students also contribute to the economy when they spend in the country.
They are involved in various activities which promote other industries in the country. For example, daily expenditure in household products by the students provides market for industries and businesses which in turn increases income to other people through employment thus promoting the economy.
The demand for international higher education stands at over 4 million students and out of this, the share for the major English speaking countries is 46.8%. Australian international higher education has a global demand of 19.3% share of the English speaking countries. It is growing at the rate of 9% annually and it is expected that the Asian market will represent 93% of the demand. The growth will be determined by the collaboration of both the private and public sector.
The main competitors of the Australia in the international education sector are the major English speaking countries who share the market. The system in Australia is flexible and offers special degree programs. The country is also close to Asia, which is its major markets and therefore has a comparative advantage. The products are expected to change especially with globalization (Alderman, 2009). Students should be able to access information easily and programs that enable them to study from their countries developed.
China a good market for Australian education because it has a large population that is supposed to share the few institutions available. Currently, there are about 2000 institutions of higher learning in China which are supposed to be shared by the large population of close to two billion people.
The people of china value education and a child’s education is given first priority. Research has shown that the Chinese people invest in their children’s education before they even buy houses or even start saving for the future. Many Chinese families are small with only a child each and this gives them an opportunity to invest fully in the child’s education by sending them to the best schools in the world.
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As a result of having few institutions of higher learning, many people in China miss chances to join the available colleges and as a result there are many older people who wish to further their education in other countries. These people mainly find their way to Australia. They offer a good market for Australian education export. Another potential market for Australian education is the working people in China who wish to further their education.
China is a good market for Australian education and in the year 2010 a sum of 284700 students from China left the country to further their studies most of them on their own expenses. China’s economy continues to grow and it was not greatly affected by the global financial crisis.
For this reason China will continue to be the leading overseas market of Australian education. More people are now able to take their children for further studies abroad because of the recorded increase in the middle class. Many Australian education providers have been faced with many challenges as they try to explore the Chinese market, but still foreign students statistics show that China continue to lead as a consumer of the Australian education (Qinggang, Ross, 2011).
The stability and consistency of China has proven to much education service providers that it continues being the leading consumer of foreign education. As a result many providers of this service are trying their best to capitalize on this stable and ready market.
Australia faces competition from other English speaking countries including United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand and Canada. The Australian dollar is becoming strong each day and this is impacting negatively on the overseas market.
Many education providers have raised tuition fees and this coupled together with high student’s visa fees make education in Australia very expensive. This locks out some people and gives their competitors a share of the market. Some of Australia’s institutions have been closed in recent years and this has impacted negatively to the international market especially in China where local media exaggerate the case and therefore give misleading information.
Many competitors are coming up after the oversea education sector was found to contribute immensely on the economy of many countries. This has seen countries like India and Saudi Arabia making multi billion investment in their education sector in a bid to encourage people to study in the countries.
Hong Kong and Japan have also mentioned that they are planning to increase the number of foreign students in the country. For instance Hong Kong has even made massive changes in their education sector. They have shifted from their earlier three years university system that is mainly practiced in the United Kingdom to a four year university system that is practiced in the United States of America (Yin, Cheng 2011). Changes have also been made in other levels of their education system including the secondary.
Competitors are using attractive programs to attract foreign students. Scholarships are offered to students by both by the governments of the given countries and various universities in the countries to attract international students.
However, Australia is not loosing much in offering education services to international students especially in China because their relationship is about the students seeking to study in Australia. The two countries are working together to broaden their education systems in terms of interaction, research collaborations, education partnership and exchange programs. Australia should therefore maintain good relationship with their market.
I have learnt a lot in terms of cultural diversity and working in a group. I have learnt to respect other people’s contributions in a group and give each person a chance to express themselves. This is something I expected to learn after joining the group and I have realized that team work is crucial because people work together towards realization of a common goal.
Alderman, G. (2009). Transnational higher education: Stocks take of current activities. Journal of studies in international education, vol: 13, issue 3.
Allan C.K Cheung, T. W. (2011). Strategies and policies for Hong Kong’s higher education in Asian Markets: Lessons from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore. International Journal of education Management, vol: 25, issue 2
Marginson, S. (1993). Education and public policy in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Qinggang W., Ross T. (2011). Chinese students’ satisfaction of the study abroad experience. International Journal of Education Management , vol:25, issue 3, pp.265-277
Yin C., Cheng, A. C. (2011). Development of a regional education hub: the case of Hong Kong. International Journal of marketing, vol: 25, issue 4.