November 26, 2021

IRU leading the way in diversification and offshore education

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) is ready to deliver on the Australian Government’s Australian Strategy for International Education 2021-2030, which focuses on a sustainable and diverse sector.

IRU members are already leading the way in international student diversity and offshore delivery. China, India, and Nepal are the top three countries of origin for international students in Australia, making up 63% of international student enrolments across the sector but only 54% at the IRU.

The IRU is also leading the way in offshore delivery, with over 30% of our international students already studying in an offshore mode, and above-average levels of student satisfaction for both undergraduate and postgraduate international students.

IRU Chair and Griffith University Vice-Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans welcomes the release of the Strategy, which highlights that IRU members are well positioned for the future.

“The strategy focuses on areas in which the IRU is already leading: diversification of international students, greater offshore delivery, and enhanced international student experiences,” she said.

“COVID-19 has had major impacts on international education over the last two years, both for students and for universities. We agree that new models are needed for the future and we look forward to working with government to develop successful and sustainable new approaches.”

Australia has one of the most internationalised university sectors in the world, with our engagement in international education and research delivering huge benefits for the nation over decades. Almost 60% of IRU research is done in partnership with leading international academics.

IRU Executive Director Paul Harris points to the opportunities for collaboration with government under the Strategy on new models of international education.

“Our eight members are already working together for a consortium approach to diversification,” he said. “The Government’s commitment to working with other countries to remove barriers and to working with universities to attract international students offers significant steps towards growing transnational educational opportunities.”