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Expo Dubai Push to Spur International Education Recovery

Prospective international students, their parents and industry agents are the audience for the NSW Government’s latest activity at the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai, reinforcing NSW’s position as Australia’s first-choice destination for international students.


Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Stuart Ayres said the four-week promotional activity by Study NSW is part of broader efforts to encourage the sector’s post-pandemic recovery.


“As a state, we led the push to fly the first students back to Australia, and we’re continuing to bolster the sector now they can return freely,” Mr Ayres said.


“The value of international students to NSW goes well beyond their economic contribution. They foster people to people links between their home country and NSW, build our talent pipeline and bring significant intercultural and language skills, an understanding of foreign markets and an entrepreneurial spirit that lifts our communities.


“Many international students stay on in NSW once they’ve completed their studies, and traditionally 16 per cent transition to Permanent Residency, boosting our state productivity.


“While a full recovery to pre-pandemic student numbers is likely to take a few years, now is the time to ramp up our activity to attract students back. We’re not wasting any opportunity to encourage their return and increase enrolments.”


More than 28,000 international students have returned to NSW since borders reopened in mid-December 2021, with nearly 162,000 international students currently registered with NSW education providers.


Under the NSW International Education Recovery Strategy launched in December 2021, Study NSW is supporting the sector to regrow, appointing new offshore education counsellors and increasing digital marketing activity, including enhancing the Study NSW website, delivering social media campaigns and profiling successful global alumni.

Mr Ayres said he was also pleased to confirm the Hon. Patricia Forsythe AM as the new Chair of the NSW International Education Advisory Board, the 14-member body that brings together experts from education, research, industry and government to advise on the development of the state’s international education sector.


“Having left this role prematurely in 2017 to serve as Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, we’re thrilled to have Ms Forsythe back to lead the Advisory Board and  build partnerships between the international education sector and the business community in Sydney and regional NSW,” Mr Ayres said.


Ms Forsythe said she has her sights set on the sector’s recovery at this crucial time.


“This is a critical time for international education as we reopen and reactivate after the pandemic. Now is the time for us to adapt and chart a new course for our world-leading education sector,” Ms Forsythe said.


“I’m a passionate advocate for education and I’m immensely proud of our quality institutions here in NSW, many with which I’ve been closely involved over the years.


“As the former Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber I’m also eager to help NSW employers better understand the fantastic resource our talented international education graduates provide – whether in overcoming the skills gaps we face here at home, or navigating the complex export markets we need to maintain and build offshore.”


The NSW International Education Advisory Board meets quarterly to provide strategic advice to Study NSW while identifying opportunities to foster sustainable growth of the NSW international education sector.


To read more about the work of Study NSW and the NSW International Education Recovery Strategy visit


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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