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The pandemic has carved $13.6 billion from Australia’s education sector as international student numbers fall

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has seen international student numbers drop dramatically, impacting local tertiary education revenue.
  • Plans to house and quarantine returning international students above existing caps have been jeopardised by the latest local outbreaks.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Closed international borders and limited online study options have reportedly carved $13.6 billion from Australia’s overseas education exports since 2019.

Citing the Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Australian reports the annual value of tertiary education exports, accounting for tuition, accommodation, and related travel expenses, fell from $40.3 billion over the 2019 calendar year to $26.7 billion in the 12 months to June 2021.

While Australian universities have rushed to adapt their curricula for online learning at home and abroad, the same figures show a considerable spending gap. International students have contributed some $4 billion in tuition fees for online courses offered by local tertiary education providers.

The damage of the coronavirus pandemic and border closures on Australia’s higher education sector is also reflected in the latest publicly available data from the Department of Education, Skills, and Employment.

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