Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

Broadening horizons and opportunities

Monday, May 19 2014

There was much discussion last week about the measures announced in the Budget – some good and some not so good for private providers and their students. I sent email advice on Tuesday evening to all members and had a further opportunity to discuss the changes with members during Friday’s In Conversation with the CEO webinar.

This week’s article moves beyond the Budget, although no doubt we’ll come back to the Budget measures in the weeks ahead and I welcome members’ comments and questions. For those working in the higher education sector, this week’s Symposium presents a crucial opportunity to understand the coming changes and their likely impact on your students, courses and institutions (click here to register). We’ll hold similar fora for VET when the shape of future reforms are clearer.

So moving temporarily beyond the Budget, it was my pleasure to meet with three relatively new Austrade representatives (each with responsibility for education) in Melbourne last week as part of their induction into their roles.

• Ms Nataya Aryadni (Indonesia)
• Mr Camilo Pena (Colombia)
• Mr Ismail Muslim (Ghana)

I’ll have more advice for members on the opportunities on offer in Indonesia after this week’s delegation but I’m keen to advise members about opportunities for partnerships and student recruitment in Nigeria, Ghana, and Colombia.

Austrade’s Business Development Manager, Ghana and Nigeria, Ismail Muslim, highlighted the significant opportunities for Australian private providers on offer in Nigeria – a country of 170 million people (63% of whom are under 30 years of age) and a rapidly growing economy which will soon overtake South Africa as the strongest economy in Africa. Despite the growth of the Nigerian economy, it is struggling to provide sufficient tertiary education opportunities to its young people, with only 1.7 million places available annually.

Nigeria’s English speaking, growing middle class population is prepared to pay to send their sons and daughters overseas to educate them, making them an important potential market for Australian CRICOS providers. Even more compelling for ACPET members is the interest amongst Nigerian students and their parents in study in the creative industries and services sector. Equally important is the growing interest in VET and industry relevant study.

In September this year Austrade will host a major West African Education Conference in Ghana, Lagos and Abutja. Currently the event is described on the Austrade website as being designed to assist Australian universities but I'm confident that after last week's meeting the focus will be on making the conference relevant to all Australian CRICOS providers. Look out for further details in Austrade’s Market Information Package (MIP) and the International Engagement section of National Monday Update.

Camilo Pena is an integral part of Austrade’s new post in Colombia and keen to assist ACPET members to understand the opportunities on offer in Colombia and Venezuela. While the recruitment of VET students to Australia from Latin America remains difficult – there are opportunities for those wanting to attract ELICOS and higher education students.

For those of you not currently active in recruiting students from Colombia you may not be aware that it has twice the number of higher education students as Brazil and has the third largest population of ELICOS students globally. Colombian students are looking to Australia as an ELICOS destination and then are keen to pursue VET or higher education pathways. Camilo has spent a lot of time on agent engagement and training to help their better understand the Australian market. So members interested in Latin America who haven’t been in contact with Camilo are urged to do so.

Claire Field
Chief Executive Officer


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