Importance of International Education

The importance of International Education to the City and State

In preparing this blog I would like to acknowledge the significant input and involvement from City of Adelaide Economic Development and Tourism Program and in particular, Dominic Pangallo, Advisor Investment Growth who has been instrumental in supporting the International student growth agenda within the Council and wider state.

The Importance of the International Education to the State

International education is a key driver of economic growth in South Australia characterised by:-

  • Currently the State’s fifth largest export sector generating $1.2 billion dollars of economic value.
  • The sector ranks only slightly behind the Wheat, Metals, Meat and Wine sectors that are traditional drivers of States export income.
  • The last 10 years have seen the export value of the sector almost double and sustained growth in enrolments and investment in supporting infrastructure and amenity.
  • In 2016 there were 34,203 international students in South Australia representing the largest number for the State since 2010 and a year on year growth rate of 6.7%
  • This represents 4.8% of the national market (which totals 712,884 students) and is the fifth largest number in Australia.
  • The contribution of each international student to the economy is estimated to be $43,700 (source Deloitte Access Economics 2016)
  • China is the main source market with over 40 % of student enrolments followed by India (10.4%), Hong Kong (5.9%) and Malaysia (5.2%)
  • Significantly, for each 4 students attracted to the State one full time job is created.

Students are attracted to SA because of quality and choice of providers, affordability, a quiet safe friendly environment and immigration advantages.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese’s welcome to students


Written by Matt Grant EDA-SA Committee Member;
Associate Director Economic Development & Tourism at
Adelaide City Council