Australian Strategy for International Education 2021‑2030

The Australian Strategy for International Education 2021‑2030 charts a path to sustainable growth for Australia’s international education sector, with a focus on diversification, meeting national skills needs, students at the centre and global competitiveness.

Australian Strategy for International Education 2021‑2030

International education is a vital part of Australian society. It brings many economic, cultural and social benefits to our people and businesses. It creates links and life‑long connections with communities and partners across the world.

The Strategy identifies four priority areas for the next decade in the Australian international education sector:

  • Diversification
  • Alignment with Australia’s workforce and skills needs
  • Students at the centre
  • Growth and global competitiveness.
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International student diversity at Australian universities

The Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030 prioritises the diversification of international student cohorts and source countries to improve student experience and sector resilience. As an initial step, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment has released a discussion paper inviting views on the benefits and challenges of diversifying international student cohorts, and the role government policy measures can play in supporting diversification at public universities. 

The discussion paper will be an initial step to inform the implementation of the following diversification policy measures for public universities as outlined in Action 1.1 of the Strategy:

  • Guidelines to achieving the optimal make-up of international student cohorts to inform sector decision-making, 
  • A Diversification Index to increase transparency of the international student cohort mix
  • Diversification Action Plans to support business resilience and encourage universities to diversify their student cohorts.

The Department invites sector views on the discussion paper by Friday 25 February 2022 to support development of the diversification policy measures. Written feedback can be provided to the Department at

Measures that support the implementation of the Strategy

  • $8 million in seed funding for Australian industry to develop up to 70 globally relevant micro-credentials for international and onshore implementation.
  • $27.8 million in fee relief from regulatory charging which will assist the international education sector to build capacity now so that as students return, Australian providers can bounce back quickly.
  • $9.4 million for the Innovation Development Fund to provide short-term targeted support to private English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers to diversify their education offerings into online and offshore delivery.
  • A review of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and the National Code to ensure that Australia’s legislation continues to support innovation within the sector, high quality education provision online and offshore and an optimal experience for all students.
  • On 10 February 2022 the department launched a public consultation as part of the Review. For more information, including how to make a submission, go to the Review announcement.
  • The department will be accepting submissions until COB Friday 29 April 2022.

Council for International Education

The Council for International Education will oversee the Strategy and support its implementation, including reporting annually on its progress to the Prime Minister.

How the Strategy was developed

More than 1,600 stakeholders contributed to the development of the Strategy, including:

  • Responses to the Consultation Paper on the Strategy
  • Public webinars held in April 2021.

Expert Members of the Council led the consultation process in collaboration with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.