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Australia commits first A$3.62m of int’l ed funding

Initiatives to develop industry research, increase work integrated learning and enhance collaborations between Australian and global providers are among projects to share in the government’s latest funding commitments.

AustraliaAmong programs receiving funding from the government is a two-year scoping project into the sharing economy model for international student accommodation in Australia. Photo: Flickr/Rexness

Austrade's marketing and branding projects will receive A$1.3m over two years

The Enabling Growth and Innovation 2016/17 funding, which supports the implementation of the National Strategy for International Education 2025, will see A$3.62m pumped into 14 projects across five themes.

Themes include enhancing the student experience, providing baseline data for measuring the national strategy’s success, enhancing international cooperation, communicating the benefits of international education to the Australian community, and developing a nationally-consistent marketing and branding approach.

“This funding will support 14 innovative projects to help strengthen and grow Australia’s booming international education sector”

“This funding will support 14 innovative projects to help strengthen and grow Australia’s booming international education sector,” education minister Simon Birmingham said in a statement.

“From support for think tanks, international collaborations and conferences through to backing initiatives that boost student internships and raising the profile of our English language training, these new projects focus on enhancing the experience of international students.”

Birmingham said the research initiatives, which will receive a $900,000 injection to build upon Australia’s student data reporting, were vital to measuring the success of the national strategy.

“Having ready access to timely student data helps our education providers monitor where demand is growing and track their own success against national benchmarks,” he said.

Among the organisations to benefit, the Council of International Students Australia will receive $100,000 to ensure the “ongoing sustainability of [its] conference”, IEAA will get $285,000 of the $900,000 for research projects, and Austrade’s marketing and branding projects will receive $1.3m over two years.

An additional $100,000 has also been set aside over two years for a scoping study into the “sharing economy” for international students, however, a party responsible for the study has yet to be determined.

“The study will examine the feasibility of a user review ratings scheme for international student accommodation and make recommendations for future models which could be used in Australia,” the document reads.

The funding announcement is one of the first after former international education minister Richard Colbeck last year announced the government would provide $12m funding over four years, with the next round to open in October.

The news also comes as new data from the Department of Education and Training shows Australia’s 2017 year to April student visa numbers have grown 14% from 2016 to just under 500,000.

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