Northern Territory Government Newsroom

International Students boost population and create jobs

The Territory Labor Government will accelerate efforts to attract international students as a key part of the Territory’s economic recovery, diversifying the economy and creating local jobs.

Raising student numbers from 2500 to more than 10 000 over the next seven years is expected to result in a significant financial return to the Territory of $295 million per year, up from $91 million per year in 17/18. 

Current Australian Government figures show the number of international students enrolled in Territory education institutions grew by four per cent between October 2017 and October 2018 to reach 2559, making it the NT’s third largest service industry export.

The figures show the average international student contributes around $37 400 per year to the Territory economy, supporting around 800 jobs.

An International Student Expenditure survey conducted by Deloitte in late 2017 involving 365 students shows that more students will provide a boost to Territory retailers and to landlords with about 35 per cent of their spending on food, phone and internet, textbooks and dining out and 39 per cent on rent.

Following average growth of 17 per cent in international students over the 10 years to 2017 the Territory Labor Government’s plan is for an annual 20 per cent increase in the number of students studying in the Territory to reach its goal.

Government’s targeted strategy to boost numbers involves:

The recently signed Cities Deal will create a Charles Darwin University campus in the CBD with CDU estimating more than 11, 000 students will be enrolled at the CBD City Campus by 2028, including an additional 1000 international students.

The International Student Strategy is based on significant consultation with international education providers, the Territory Government International Student Expenditure Survey conducted by Deloitte in late 2017 and ongoing engagement with source nations such as Vietnam, the Philippines and China.

In February 2019, a delegation will travel to India and Nepal to promote the Territory which will include private international education providers.

 Quotes attributable to Chief Minister, Michael Gunner

“The Territory Labor Government’s number one priority is jobs for Territorians.

“By attracting international students to the Territory to study, we are not only supporting local jobs in the education sector but across a wide variety of sectors, from hospitality and tourism to our service industries, which is good for the Territory economy as a whole.

“Already international education is the third largest service industry export sector, and growing this sector could see an additional $200 million in the Territory’s economy.

“As part of the historic, $200 million City Deal our government signed with the Federal Government last year, a new Charles Darwin University campus in the Darwin CBD will position us to grow this market, particularly with our closest neighbours.

“Last year, nine of the top 10 countries of origin for international students were in Asia, and, as the Capital of Northern Australia, Darwin is uniquely positioned to appeal to families in these countries who are looking to educate their children overseas.

“The Territory provides high quality education for everyone who studies here. In return, International students strengthen cultural, social and economic ties, and contribute to creating vibrant economic, social and cultural precincts.”

Media Contact:  Cameron Angus – 0404 021 192