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Go8 Media Release: Go8 Welcomes PM’s Commitment to Australia’s International Sector

The Group of Eight (Go8), comprising Australia’s leading, research-intensive universities, is pleased the Prime Minister has acknowledged the effort and relationships of Australia’s quality universities in underpinning Australia’s future security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking at Go8 member UNSW Sydney today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reinforced that, in an era of unprecedented change, the path to peace and prosperity will be forged by Australia continuing to deliver high quality research and education services to the best and brightest from around the world.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the value of international education was felt well beyond university campuses in 130,000 jobs in sectors such as retail and hospitality, and also creates the strong links and ongoing relationships that secure our place across our region.

This comes after the release of ABS figures that show revenue from international education exports soared to some $31.9 billion over the last financial year.

And the Prime Minister’s comments have underscored figures commissioned by the Go8 from London Economics, one of Europe’s leading specialist policy and economics consultancies – in a report to be launched at the National Press Club next week – that show that every three international students studying at a Go8 university generates $1 million in economic impact.

“But Australia’s international education industry is about so much more than revenue, as welcome as that is,” said Vicki Thomson, Chief Executive. “We know because we have so many examples that our international students of today are the industry leaders of tomorrow, who will go out into the world and promote Australia and Australian connections throughout their careers.”

“As Australia’s consistently top ranked universities, the Go8 are rightly proud that we educate over 100,000 international students from 200 countries, all of whom add to the rich and vibrant communities both on and off-campus.”

It was also pleasing to hear the Prime Minister assert the importance of maintaining a strong working relationship with our regional neighbours, including China.

Establishing deep partnerships with other countries opens the door to a range of other benefits.

“China is obviously an important regional partner, with whom Australia is perfectly capable of working with in a constructive, collaborative way, despite our differences,” Ms Thomson said.

“Knowledge economies will increasingly thrive on discovery as well as talent. And through research collaborations with our international partners, including China, Go8 universities will continue to deliver new and innovative findings with the potential to have real impact on economic, social and wellbeing.

“We were delighted that the Prime Minister chose UNSW Sydney, a Go8 member, as the venue for his statements of support, and we look forward to continuing to welcome top students from around the world to enjoy our quality education offerings, provided in a world-ranked, research-rich university environment.”

Contact:               Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472

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