Sri Lanka is a small but important market for Australia, with whom it shares a strong bilateral relationship, but issues of student visa fraud are a known problem.
In statement Austrade said: “The Sri Lankan schools segment is growing in importance, with increasing opportunities for Australian education providers. Austrade is well placed to facilitate access to local institutions, given sensitivities around engaging with education agents.”
The visit last month was attended by 19 Australian institutions who gained insight into the local market, study trends and preferences. Local students, parents and teachers also attended.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) gave presentations on Australian student visas, and Austrade highlighted the benefits of Australia as a destination for internationally-recognised education and graduate employment opportunities.
About 4,500 Sri Lankan students are currently enrolled at Australian universities
Following the briefings, institutions held one-on-one information sessions with students and their parents.
Colombo International School was founded in 1982 with a curriculum based on the British GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education), AS- (Advanced Subsidiary) and A2-level qualifications, and is managed by both a Sri Lankan and expatriate faculty.
Austrade said: “A full range of subjects is offered at CIS, enabling students to excel in their studies and pursue tertiary education in major universities globally in Australia, the UK, USA and Singapore.”
About 4,500 Sri Lankan students are currently enrolled at Australian universities. A number of Australian tertiary providers operate distance education facilities in Sri Lanka including Monash College, an affiliate of Monash University, and the Australian College of Business and Technology, an affiliate of Edith Cowan University.
The University of Southern Queensland provides a distance learning program in Sri Lanka, which is offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.