International Students in Sydney: The Economic Driver it is.

It isn’t until I started working in Boston University’s Sydney study abroad program that I realized education is Australia’s biggest service export. Like most people, I never thought of education as being such a big player in a country’s economy. Education services accounts for $16.3 billion in exports for Australia.

I live in Chippendale right across from UTS, so I see the impact of internationals on the streets every day. The UTS- USYD area depends on these students for growth, which allows big residential complexes to be put up. I got word that the Central Park project is funded by Singaporean investors. Two building away from my apartment is a residence hall designed specifically for Chinese students and their living habits (individual apartments).


We all know how Asians have begun gentrifying this sector of Sydney, which is why it’s so fascinating to think what Broadway will look like in 15-20 years. I imagine it to have a look and feel similar to Singapore, if it doesn’t already.

Another stat I found interesting was the proportion of Chinese and Indian students who are contributing to Australia’s economy.  $4.1 billion (25.1%) is related to China, $2 billion (12.3%) to India, and $.9 billion (12.3%) to Korea.

One point to note though is that 2010-2011 was the first year education exports decreased from $18.6 billion to $16.3 billion. My guess is that this is due to the global recession. It will be interesting to see where the numbers stand for 2011-2012.



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