International students in Australia: A review of the literature. Final report to the Scanlon Foundation

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportOther


In economic terms, international education is of paramount importance to Australia. The topic has been subject to much scrutiny since the decline in international education beginning in 2007. This decline was attributed to poor monetary exchange rates, disreputable training colleges providing sub-standard courses and violent attacks against international students. Australia suffered severe reputational damage as an international education provider nation during this time, taking years to recover. Despite the recovery of the international education industry in Australia, maintaining a reputation of being a safe and welcoming nation offering high standard education remains an important imperative for policy and practice. There has been a long-standing and increasing interest in the factors that influence potential international students’ decisions relating to study destinations. The factors determining these decisions vary depending on education sector. For example, in higher education the single most influential factors are the reputation of the individual university and the availability of scholarships. However, across all areas of education, the most critical issues are reportedly English instruction and a ‘safe and secure’ environment. With all of Australia’s major competitors in the international education market able to meet the first requirement the second has begun to attract growing attention. Indeed, an expanding number of nations, cities and individual institutions market their services by highlighting their ability to provide a safe environment. An agreement of what a safe and secure environment means varies between providers and students and subsequently it is a key area of research. In addition to the other ongoing concerns associated with international students, such as housing, employment and finances, for example, two emerging issues are receiving greater attention: the mental health of international students and political concerns. These issues are paid further attention in this report. This literature review focuses on the current 10 key issues most likely to impact international students during their sojourn.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages75
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018


  • international students

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