We are pleased to launch a report and toolkit on consortia opportunities and pathways for Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) delivering education and training services.

Australia's world-renowned education sector is uniquely placed to tap into growing demand overseas and the Turnbull Government will back them every step of the way.

The report and toolkit, prepared by Austrade and EY, is aimed at helping SMEs work together to target broader and more lucrative markets.

The report outlines the challenges and opportunities in forming a consortium while the toolkit, a live document to be constantly updated, provides the key stages of working in consortia.

To date, only a few Australian education and training companies have banded together as consortia to respond successfully to international opportunities. However, the report found this model allowed members to address challenges of scale, breadth of capability, and manage risks and share costs associated with market entry.

Borderless and offshore education are key growth drivers for the Australian education sector, which is one of the strongest drivers of Australia's economic growth.

Australia is the world's third-largest educator of international students, after the US and the UK, and education services are our third largest export. The sector currently generates around AU$30.9 billion a year in services exports and employs more than 130,000 people.

The Turnbull Government has delivered Australia's first National Strategy for International Education and the long-term market development roadmap Australian International Education 2025 (AIE 2025) and they identify significant opportunities for education providers if they can scale up significantly, by using technology, or partnering with each other. This is a particular challenge for SMEs in the Vocational Education and Training (VET), English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) and Educational Technology (EdTech) sub-sectors.

But the incentive is clear; by 2025, there will be an estimated one billion students worldwide, many searching the globe for an international education.

Technology already helps many SMEs scale up to claim a share of this vast market – Australia has more than 1,100 online education providers generating approximately $5.2 billion in revenue.

The report and toolkit will be available online to MIP subscribers on Austrade's website www.austrade.gov.au/consortia

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555