Looming storms: has greed made our industry blind to a changing market?


Over the past decade, Australia’s international higher education sector has reaped the benefits of high demand and rapidly growing overseas markets – but did it squander the opportunities that came with that growth? The cost of higher education spiralled well beyond increases in inflation, wages, or exchange rates, and at the same time have education products changed to accommodate future market demands? Is targeting the future now falling out of reach? With intra-Asian mobility on the rise – and with several key source countries transforming into international education providers in their own right – is Australia set to see declines in international students in the coming decade? This presentation will examine the rising costs of international degrees in Australia and the growth of intra-Asian mobility. It will also point to where Australian universities may want to start keeping up with a changing global market.

Learning objectives

This session will investigate the true costs of an Australian higher education for an international student in 2019. Using historic and current economic data, participants will get a fuller understanding of the value of an Australian education well beyond comparing tuition fees against perceived and real competitors. Participants will become more familiar with the growth of intra-Asian mobility and learn about its importance in relation to international education in Australia. Finally, participants will be provided with a holistic perspective on where the sector is heading and leave with some practical steps to take back to their workplaces.

Thomas Eastwood, Deakin University

Director, Strategic Intelligence and Planning

Deakin University

With more than 10 years of experience working in universities in the UK and Australia, Thomas Eastwood is well versed in understanding the challenges and opportunities that exist in international higher education. As Director, Strategic Intelligence and Planning, at Deakin University, he has a wide view of the higher education sector, with a particular passion for the international education space. He has also held roles as interim Director, International, at RMIT, as well as heading up its Market Intelligence and Analytics function. Having presented at AIEC in previous years, including one that was featured in ‘The Australian’ newspaper, Thomas is excited to speak about some of the challenges and opportunities that face international higher education