The Draft National Strategy for International Education released for consultation today by Minister for Education and Training, Christopher Pyne, highlights the critical role vocational education and training (VET) has on the overall spectrum of international education.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, welcomed the consultation period on the strategy saying that Australian skills training are considered amongst the world’s best because it is based on quality and standards.

“We are helping other countries to set standards for their own system and to train trainers and assessors to ensure local skills training are meeting those needs,” Senator Birmingham said.

International education is Australia’s largest services export worth $16.3 billion to the Australian economy in 2013-14 and supports nearly 130,000 jobs nationally.

“In 2014 there were almost 150,000 international students enrolling in VET courses in Australia, and this number is continuing to grow. There were also just under 50,000 international students who enrolled offshore, mostly from China.

“VET is critical to building a skilled workforce for Australia and overseas, and that is why our Government is supporting development assistance programs to build capacity within developing countries.

“The draft strategy is structured around three broad pillars: getting the fundamentals right; reaching out to the world and staying competitive.

“A national strategy with clear goals, strategic actions and measures of success will help set a clear path for sustainable growth and strengthen all aspects of our international education and research engagement.

Labor’s response to quality issues in 2009 almost shut down the sector overnight, damaged our international standing and reputation, from which Australia is still trying to recover,” Senator Birmingham said.

To view the Draft National Strategy for International Education and make a submission visit: Feedback is requested by 29 May 2015.

Media Contact: Caitlin Keage 0427 729 987