The International Education Industry: Identifying the Opportunity

So many industries have been transformed by technology, from the home video rental service to music streaming to the taxi and the accommodation business. Similarly, The international student recruitment industry has taken longer to mature.

Why is that? It’s an industry with enormous potential.

In 2016, estimates indicated there were around 5 million international students globally. According to UNESCO, this number will rise to 7 million international students by 2020, with most flocking to Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK, China, and Canada.

In Australia alone, more than half a million international students are currently enrolled in our country’s educational institutions, making it the third-largest export for the entire country. The importance of this industry in Australia is further exampled by the recent major data adjustment from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which pushed what was already a record $23.6 billion in annual education exports in 2017 even further upwards to $28 billion.

This massive industry is only set to climb higher, with Australia’s national strategy for international education setting an enrolment target of 720,000 international students by 2025.

In the case of New Zealand, nearly 100,000 international students chose New Zealand for their studies abroad in 2012, contributing NZ $2 billion (US $1.64 billion) to the economy and supporting approximately 32,000 jobs.

This makes international education a significant export sector in the country, and the government aims to see it bigger still, having set a target of doubling the sector’s value to NZ $5 billion (US $4.1 billion) by 2025.

The Old Way

If you’re currently working as a professional or academic in the education sector, you’ll know that this is an industry that relies heavily on low technology frameworks.


  • Long, long emails (getting lost underneath a pile of MORE emails)
  • Spreadsheets, and
  • Countless printed brochures and materials

While there’s absolutely a place for emails, spreadsheets, and brochures, new technologies mean that student recruitment has the potential to achieve better results through the simple introduction of more efficient technologies.

For example, reporting can be done better through online dashboards.

Prospective student relationships can be managed through online systems.

And online assets can replace printed assets.

The bottom line? International student recruitment in tertiary and higher education needs to reconsider whether it’s moving forward fast enough to keep up with demand.

Heading up the New Way with Sofiri

Do you wish that – all those years ago – you’d set aside your VCR and Blockbuster membership, and invested a tonne in Netflix instead?

Here’s your opportunity.

Overall, the number of international students has more than doubled between 2001 and 2016. By becoming an Education Expert in Australia or New Zealand, you’re tapping into the opportunity that is more than 400,000 international student visas issued in these countries every year.

Aspiring international students choose Sofiri, because our platform is online, and has everything Millennials need from their services today. That includes 24-hour immediate access, real-time updates, choice, and flexibility – just to name a few.

If you’ve registered for Sofiri, well done! Tap into the opportunity, and complete your profile now. And if you are new, let us know that you’d like to join us as an Education Expert by signing up now for our application process.

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