International education

The Victorian Government is working to leverage Victoria's identity as the education state and to maximise the economic returns and the broader benefits of international education.

The government is also committed to positioning Victoria's international education sector for long term, sustainable growth.

For over ten years, international education has been Victoria's largest services export industry, generating more than $60 billion for the economy in that time. In 2016-17, the sector generated $9.1 billion in export revenue for the state, and supported almost 58,000 Victorian jobs.

Currently, Victoria accounts for almost one third (31.7%) of Australia's onshore international students and over the past two decades almost one million international students have graduated from a Victorian school, TAFE, college or university.

Many of our 200,000 international students originally hail from the Asia Pacific region, including 80,000 student enrolments from China, 16,200 from Malaysia, 13,100 from Vietnam, 7,900 from Thailand and 6,000 from Indonesia.

However, the significance of international education stretches far beyond its direct export value alone, and requires a holistic view of its broader economic, social and cultural contribution to our state.

This includes the immediate economic and social contributions of students who choose to live, work and study here and the many visiting family and friends who enjoy our state's exceptional tourism offerings.

Read more about the economic value of Victoria's international education.

Victoria's strengths

The state's strengths include:

  • Exporting higher education, vocational education and training, English language training and secondary school education
  • Offshore delivery of education services
  • Innovation in education services
  • High quality student experience
  • Melbourne is recognised as one of the world's premier destination cities for international students. In 2018, QS Best Student Cities awarded Melbourne as Australia's best student city and the fifth best in the world.

Sector strategy

International Education Sector Strategy

Page last updated: 23 April 2018