Export revenue from international students, driven by the lower dollar, has soared 13 per cent in 2015 to make education a $20 billion export industry.
In trade figures released on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said total spending by international students in Australia – including course fees, accommodation, living expenses and recreation – was $19.2 billion in 2015, up from $17 billion the previous year.
Phil Honeywood, executive director of International Education Association of Australia, said the data showed international students were making a significant contribution to the economy at a time when resource exports were flagging.
Next week the international education industry will promote itself by holding what it bills as the world's biggest English lesson on Sydney's Bondi Beach. Organisers say the event, on February 12, is expected to attract 3000 international students.