'INTERNATIONAL education is "flying under the radar" as a contributor to a faltering national economy, even though plunging student revenues could push some states into recession.
The International Education Association of Australia said attention continued to be focused on manufacturing job losses from companies such as Toyota, Alcoa, OneSteel and Murray Goulburn, even though international education had lost $3 billion in a year and enrolments were declining "week in, week out".'
All true but this article and message is directed at wrong audience as readers of The Higher Ed and those privy to the international education industry would be aware of current issues, while there are short term marketing activities that could yield results.
Bit worrying when a senior university Director of International pleads help on what to do re. rising dollar plus tighter visa and immigration rules, when the answer has always been apparent.
Start marketing, i.e. talk to all your international candidates, prospectives and agents for feedback on pricing, marketing communication channels, education quality, positives of studying in Australia (state and institution).
This can inform marketing strategy focused upon digital (Australian about 5+ years behind), e.g. promote potential price scholarships for existing students and good prospectives, complemented by cooperation with state marketing bodies on branding and awareness in multiple international markets (but much more cost effective than offshore events).
This includes both education and tourism marketing bodies from all states so their websites/shopfronts can be found internationally through SEO and digital marketing e.g. other languages blogs, video etc., highlight "live" offshore communication channels (as http://www.australia.com does via "Aussie Specialists") and analyse regularly.
More importantly, like members of the academic community such as Dr. Bob Birrell of CPUR have done to promote anti immigration sentiment; start researching, shaping the message and promoting, to not just politicians, but to the general community and mainstream media, the benefits of international education and immigration.
When one speaks to most Australians outside of the sector, it is clear they have been misinformed and misled by a concerted campaign over past years by researchers, politicians and media as most cannot see any benefits whatsoever. This is exemplified by same old myths, e.g. they take Australian student places, jobs, rentals, overcrowding our cities, etc. and according to senior journalists (from Fairfax) they are just given student visas and are granted automatic residency while all private colleges are obviously dodgy......
While Australian politicians of all parties unashamedly play tough on refugees, prospective immigrants and use "the race card" for votes, it will take potential loss of votes through the electorate for them to un "wedge" themselves from anti foreigner rhetoric and policy, unless a neo "white Australia" in the "Asian century" is really what we identify with?