According to The Australian Financial Review, Austrade says that Australia's fast-growing $21 billion-a-year education export industry is poised for a boost from students who are shying away from studying in the United States and Britain following the election of Donald Trump and the vote for Brexit.
Austrade CEO Stephanie Fahey said "we're getting increasing interest from Latin America from Mexico, and India, and some of the anecdotes are that parents are redirecting their interest towards Australia because it's seen as a safe environment."
The tension between President Trump and Mexico is seen as a major opportunity for Australia and the federal government is considering setting up an education counsellor post in its embassy in Mexico City to complement the only other such post in Latin America, which is in Brazil.
"Post-Trump, Latin America is more interested in Australia," said Phil Honeywood, the International Education Association of Australia's chief executive.
Last year 21,300 Brazilian students started courses in Australia, 18.4 per cent up on 2015, with most of them in English language study and vocational education. Colombia is also very strong with 12,600 students starting study last year, up 21.8 per cent on the previous year.
If the Trump and Brexit effects boost numbers it will add to the already strong growth in international students coming to Australia. Last year the number of international students in Australia grew by 10.9 per cent, following 9.5 per cent growth the previous year.
The US and Britain are the world's two most popular destination countries for international students and any shift by students away from them is a major opportunity for Australia, which sits at No.3. In 2014, the latest year with available data, the US attracted 26 per cent of the world's international students at tertiary level, Britain 13 per cent and Australia 8 per cent.
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