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New Study Adelaide Board Chair Sean Keenihan

Monday, 11 December 2017

Study Adelaide will remain focused on delivering positive outcomes for one of the state’s biggest exports - the international education sector under the leadership of newly appointed chair of the Study Adelaide Board, Sean Keenihan.

As the South Australian Government’s advisor on China, Mr Keenihan provides strategic advice to the Premier, Ministers, local government and industry bodies to facilitate closer bilateral links between South Australia and China.

South Australia’s international education exports are valued at $1.468 billion which makes education South Australia’s second largest export after wine.

Furthermore, $486 million (or 45 per cent) of South Australia’s international visitor expenditure is attributed to education-purpose international visitors.

Almost 43 per cent of South Australia’s international students come from China and clearly the links between China, tourism and international education are important to the South Australian economy.

As Chair of the South Australian Tourism Commission Board and SA’s Strategic Adviser on China, Mr Keenihan’s appointment as Chair of StudyAdelaide can further improve these linkages, promoting South Australia as an education destination of choice in this competitive sector.

Announcing the appointment, Trade and Investment Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith also thanked outgoing chair, Bill Spurr, whose leadership has been critical as Study Adelaide has undergone several challenges including changes to its funding model and a renewed focus on destination marketing activities.


The appointment is announced as latest data reveals that nearly 35,000 student visa holders were enrolled as international students as at October 2017.

This is a year-on-year growth in student enrolments of 5.1 per cent and means that international education is now the State’s second largest export sector, as shown in shown in this month’s release of Trade in Services data for the 16-17 financial year.

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.

The 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.