Western Australia’s International Education Sector: Performance and Prospects


A new Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) report on the performance and prospects for Western Australia’s International Education Sector established that Western Australia’s international student market is falling behind other Australian states and territories in international student demand and growth.

The report was prepared by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, and supported by the Western Australian Private Education and Training Industry Association (WAPETIA). The report focuses on trends and future scenarios in international student enrolments across all education sectors. The report offers options that could assist in the reversal of the decline in Western Australia’s share of international student enrolments.

The report was launched in Perth on Friday 18 November, where BCEC Director Professor Alan Duncan said that international education is an important industry for Western Australia despite WA’s declining share of Australia’s international education market.

JCIPP Executive Director, Professor John Phillimore, Department of Training and Workforce Development, Executive Director Service Delivery, Ms Karen Ho, Murdoch University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lyn Karstadt, Curtin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Deborah Terry AO, StudyPerth Advisory Board Chair, Professor Lyn Beazley AO and BCEC Director, Professor Alan Duncan.

Western Australia had a record of 50,500 international onshore student enrolments in 2015, however, its current share of the this Australian education market declined from 9.9 per cent in 2002 to 7.8 per cent in 2015. Western Australia’s schools sector also showed a decline since 2002, when it contributed 8 per cent to WA’s international student enrolments, whereas, this number has fallen to 1.8 per cent.

The VET sector has been more successful, with an increase of share of the national market to over 9 per cent, which has primarily been through private providers.

Professor Duncan reports that “our findings suggest ‘selling’ Perth and WA as a desirable study destination is an important priority in developing the State’s future international education strategy. The attractiveness of Western Australia as a study destination for international students could be enhanced with streamlined access to courses, and by enhancing the student experience in WA. This would serve both to attract students to the State and to create future cohorts of advocates for study in WA.”


Western Australia’s International Education Sector: Performance and Prospects is available for download here.

View Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s media release here.

The report was commissioned by The Western Australian Private Education and Training Industry Association (WAPETIA) in association with Curtin University, Murdoch University, StudyPerth, Navitas, Government of Western Australia Department of Training and Workforce Development and ACPET.

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