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The value of international education to South Australia reaches new high

Thursday, 07 December 2017

The economic value of international education to South Australia increased 12.8 per cent in the last financial year to a new high of $1.468 billion, recent ABS data shows.

International education, South Australia’s largest service export is now our second largest export after wine and plays an important role in bringing visitors to the state.

Overall, South Australian services exports were up from $2.970 billion in 2015/16 to $3.240 billion in 2016/17, an increase of 9.1 per cent in one year.


Nearly 35,000 student visa holders were enrolled as international students as at October 2017, a year-on-year growth in student enrolments of 5.1 per cent. International education is now the State’s second largest export sector following the release of Trade in Services data for the 16-17 financial year.

The State Government’s International Education Action Plan outlines 10 actions to increase the number of students studying in South Australia to 35,500 by the end of 2017, a target we are on track to meet.

To view the International Education Action Plan click here.

Quotes attributable to Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

International education is one of South Australia’s key service exports, injecting nearly $1.5 billion into the state’s economy last financial year, and creating thousands of local jobs.

This State Government continues to take a proactive approach to growing the number of international students studying here, through our International Education Action Plan and our commitment to making South Australia the knowledge state.

Our extensive program of international engagement is also pivotal in forming networks and relationships with education institutions worldwide, and in attracting international students to study in South Australia.

In the nine months to October, there were 34,898 international student enrolments which is essentially the same size as the population of the District of Mt Barker. China continues to be the largest source of international students, followed by India, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The data shows we are on the right track, with the economic contribution to South Australia from international education having grown significantly in the last few years from $1.043 billion in the 2013/14 financial year to nearly $1.5 billion today.