South Australia is looking to double the number of international students it receives each year from 32,000 to 64,500.
According to the state’s recently released International Student Action Plan, no time limit has been placed on attempting to reach the ambitious target, but the state’s Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith has said it is an “aspirational” target that should be met “as soon as practicable.’’
There are currently 32,000 international students enrolled in South Australia and the Government’s previous target was to increase that to 35,500 by 2017.
“We ought to think big not small… and be punching above our weight,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“I’ve called this an action plan rather than a strategy for good reason because we [the Government] have a lot of strategies but I want action [on attracting more students].”
According to Australian newspaper, The Sunday Mail, key elements of the plan to increase student numbers include:
– Stationing more staff overseas, initially in south-east Asia with other regions targeted later.
– Running a pilot programme linking students to SA businesses for internships and launching a campaign to inform businesses of the benefits of employing an international intern or graduate.
_Establishing the SA International Education Office under the State Development Department to oversee the sector and to cement education as an economic driver.
– Creating an accommodation plan to ensure no international student arrives in SA without a place to stay.
The state government says that if the target of 64,500 overseas students were to be achieved, it would equate to an estimated 8400 new jobs for South Australia.
Article by David Fuller