(1 Apr 2021) Australia’s leading research universities have played down calls to ramp up their presence in the crowded field of online education, saying studying in Australia is the main drawcard for many international students.
Group of Eight chief executive Vicki Thomson said the coronavirus pandemic had given universities a “proof of concept” that online course delivery was possible but questioned whether this model would play a significant role in the sector’s long-term recovery post-pandemic.
“We are delivering largely online to our international students now. We’ve got 30,000 students studying offshore. We do want to diversify our market but the attraction for many students is that they can come to Australia and study, not that they will continue to study in their home countries,” Ms Thomson said.
The capacity and willingness of universities to invest more heavily in online education will be a key focus in the development of a new 10-year strategy for the $30 billion-plus international education sector aimed at driving its recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
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