Aug 16, 2008

Why Are Australia's Education Exports So Much Higher Than New Zealand's?

Australia's education services exports topped A$12.5 billion in 2007. They overtook tourism as Australia's #1 services export. On the goods side only coal and iron ore are more important than education exports. 450,000 foreign students studied in Australia in 2007.

What was the comparative figure for New Zealand? According to the NBR of 8 August - page 7 - the value of New Zealand education exports in 2007 was NZ$2.4 billion (remember the exchange rate adjusted figure for Australia has the Australian figure at around $15 billion). 91,300 foreign students were in New Zealand in 2007.

Why are we so far behind Australia and why so far behind our toursim earnings ($8.9 billion)? Why are New Zealand's education sales only 16% of Australia's sales while our tourism exports are 70% of Australia's tourism exports?

Could the lack of coursework Masters degrees be one reason? If English was not your first language would you want to write a thesis in English to get your Masters?