Global Education Partnerships such as those being spearheaded by Education Centre of Australia (ECA) are paving the way for unprecedented growth in Australia’s tertiary education sector.

Armed with a burgeoning student population from the subcontinent market, Australian firm, ECA is helping universities to grow beyond the confines of traditional government funding, to become true leaders in the global education space.

According to recently released figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s inbound education market is currently worth $28.6bn, making it the nation’s third largest export industry.

With countries such as Canada, the UK, Singapore and Japan all heavily competing for international student numbers, Mr Rupesh Singh, CEO of Education Centre Australia (ECA) says that Australian universities need to form reliable Global Education Partnerships with industry experts if they are to maintain their stronghold over this lucrative market for the long term.

“Our experience at ECA is that Australian universities understand the importance of international students, but they lack the know-how to confidently enter into burgeoning student markets, such as India. By not aggressively targeting these markets, Australian universities risk missing out on huge growth opportunities that are already being snapped up by other countries” he said.

For Mr Singh, a key facet of Global Education Partnerships is about helping universities with risk mitigation. “What we’ve found at ECA is that as the international student market heats up around the globe, Australian universities are looking for reliable business partners who can walk them through the exciting and sometimes daunting process of global expansion. More than anything else, our university partners tell us that they want to grow sustainably, and that they appreciate working with professionals who understand how to mitigate risks in new markets” he said.

Global Education Partnerships are especially designed to foster long-term relationships with universities and help them to realise their strategic growth goals. For Victoria University, which has a ten-year connection to ECA, this has certainly been a smart approach.

As Mr Singh has also noted; “The demand for higher education opportunities in our region is high. Countries like India have a shortage of skilled graduates and they simply don’t have the university resources to train them locally. Having a Global Education Partnership in place makes it easier for universities to connect with the booming international student market and expand their global reach in a strategic way.”

ECA is a primary sponsor of Universities Australia’s 2018 Higher Education Conference which will run from February 28 – March 2nd at the National Conventions Centre Canberra.