Report identifies future growth markets for Australia

25 April, 2014

China, India, Brazil and Spain are among the countries offering the strongest long-term growth potential to Australia’s international education export sector, according to a report by Samuel Vetrak, CEO of market intelligence company StudentMarketing.

Credits: Tourism WA

Delivered at the recent ICEF Australia New Zealand Agent (ANZA) workshop in Sydney, Markets of The Future for Australia and New Zealand analysed the current market share of the two nations in key recruitment markets and across the secondary, English language and higher education sectors.

Vetrak highlighted that among the top destinations, Australia had a 13 per cent share of the English language travel market by student weeks in 2012, while New Zealand held two per cent. In terms of market share within the top 20 source countries in 2012, Australia commanded 31 per cent of the Thai market and 25 per cent of the Chinese market, while also boasting over one fifth of the English language travel market from Colombia, Taiwan and Japan.

Considering factors such as growth potential in the markets, prices and exchange rates, proximity, English language proficiency and visa situations, Vetrak identified China and Japan as continuing growth markets for Australia’s Elicos sector, as well as Brazil (for which Australia held 10 per cent market share of the English language travel market in 2012), Venezuela (three per cent) and Spain (two per cent).

Spain recorded its highest ever commencement figure in the Elicos sector in January 2014, according to the recently released monthly summary of data on student visa-holding international students from government body Australian Education International (AEI).

Another slide in the presentation highlighted the consistently high usage of agents for recruitment – accounting for 76 per cent of bookings in both countries in 2012.

In the presentation, Vetrak showed that among the major English speaking destinations for K-12 secondary education sector, Australia and New Zealand were fourth and fifth globally in terms of student numbers in 2012 (behind the USA, Canada and the UK), with 12 and 11 per cent market share respectively.

Australia attracted some 62 per cent of Vietnamese students heading overseas for secondary education, 47 per cent of Malaysian students, and over 20 per cent of students from China, Japan and Taiwan. He identified China, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and Russia as the country’s potential growth recruitment markets in this sector. With the exception of China, Australia had six per cent market share or less for these countries in 2012.

In the higher education sector, Australia held six per cent market share of international students worldwide in 2012, while New Zealand attracted one per cent.

China, India, Nepal, Brazil, Vietnam, Italy, Colombia and Bangladesh were cited potential growth markets for Australia in higher education recruitment, and the former three countries were Australia’s top gainers in 2012/13. The AEI January 2014 data showed Brazil as the largest growth country across all export sectors, 34.7 per cent higher compared with the same period in 2013

Vetrak added that if Australia implemented measures to ease visa processing, such as requiring less documentation or reducing processing times, the country could make significant inroads into recruitment markets including Turkey, Nigeria, Iran, Mexico and Russia.

“It is important that education professionals look at the markets that hold the best future opportunities, and then establish a groundwork for success,” he said.

StudentMarketing is an international research and business development consultancy specialising in youth, student and educational travel, and is a UNWTO affiliate member.

The insights and analysis were based on latest possible industry data, including Study Travel Magazine’s Global Market Report and the annual Status Survey reports. The next analysis on business trends for English language schools in Australia in 2013 will be published in the July 2014 issue of STM.

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