When strengths and opportunities align, magnificent things can happen.
Australian Education City is aligning some of the great strengths of our country with the biggest opportunities of the future.
Here are some facts that illustrate the incredible potential of Australian Education City:
- International education is Australia’s 4th largest export industry and is a powerful driver of our economy. For every international student studying here in Australia, 1.4 full-time jobs is created. In 2011 in Victoria alone (where international education is the largest export industry), international students contributed approximately $4 billion to the Victorian economy and created almost 40,000 full-time jobs (Economic Contribution of International Students study, Deloitte Access Economics 2013).
- International education is a rapidly growing sector. In 2010, there were 4 million students studying abroad and this is projected to reach 7 million students by 2025. The origin of this growth is primarily the Asia-Pacific region which will account for 65% of the world’s middle class within 20 years. Australia is a top preference for international students due to our lifestyle, climate, location and of course the quality of our educational institutions. In fact, Melbourne is considered the #4 Best Student City in the World after Paris, London and Boston (Quacquarelli Symonds, 2012). Studies by international student placement companies suggest that the demand for Australian higher education will increase more than ninefold to about 1 million students in 2025 (Melbourne: Global Smart City, Fast Thinking 2009). Our current educational institutions can not accommodate this growth.
- The Victorian Government’s vision for the education sector is to be the leading provider of international education in the Asia-Pacific region, and to provide a cultural bridge between Australia and China through the sharing of learning and innovation.
Research and development
- Australia is recognised as a leader in research, particularly in the fields of biotechnology, healthcare, medicine, clean technology and advanced manufacturing. Furthermore, Melbourne is internationally-recognised as a Knowledge City (#1 Most Admired Knowledge City Award, Knowledge Cities World Summit 2010) and an Innovative City (#17 Most Innovative City in the World, 2thinknow group 2011). We have an enviable foundation on which to build an international reputation as a research and development centre.
- In 2014, R&D expenditure in Australia was $25.5 billion compared to $309.75 billion in China. By 2024, China’s R&D expenditure is expected to be $700 billion, equivalent to 50% of Australia’s GDP. And Australia is a preferred destination and location for Chinese companies undertaking R&D. Our R&D hubs will enable us to tap in to this enormous expenditure and bring first-class research and development opportunities to our shores.
Employment and jobs
- Australian Education Cities will create immediate upskilled and reskilled jobs. The size and scale of our first fully-developed masterplan will turbocharge the construction industry with project construction delivering over 1,000 enabled jobs in the first year, escalating to a peak of 16,500 enabled construction jobs in the precinct by the end of year 5. The success of this project relies on having all hands on deck rolling out $4 billion of infrastructure over just 5 years, which presents an exciting opportunity to engage with recently and long-term unemployed, particularly from the construction and manufacturing industries, and provide training which reskills and upskills them for the future.
- And our Australian Education Cities will also create long-term high-skill high-wage employment. Our first fully-developed masterplan will create 100,000 jobs linked directly to education, research and development and service industries by 2050. Indeed, the figure will almost certainly be higher when the flow-on effects of our international engagement and research and development activities are leveraged by the broader economy. A significant proportion of these jobs will be high-skill high-wage employment such as professors, lecturers and administrators at the university campus, and managers, researchers and technicians working in the research and development park; along with hundreds of different jobs which will provide employment opportunity throughout the immediate region. These jobs, together with the inward flow of capital to commercialise the research and development outputs, will drive employment across all industries and all labour functions. These projections are confirmed by PricewaterhouseCoopers who has undertaken a comprehensive Economic Impact Analysis for Australian Education City’s first precinct and estimated that we will create almost 70,000 full-time sustainable jobs within the immediate region and almost 100,000 full-time sustainable jobs for the State.
- Funded by international investment and supported by an assembly of Australian and local project partners, Australian Education City has the vision, mission and capability to deliver the critical mass of each precinct within an unprecedented timeframe. For our first fully-developed masterplan, our rapid delivery approach will drive $4 billion of infrastructure delivery throughout the entire precinct within the first 5 years of delivery, and will see the first full education campus and associated facilities completed and welcoming the first student cohort within 7 years of site selection. Indeed, 85% of the first precinct will be delivered within 15 years.
- A key objective for Australia has been to improve our competitiveness to attract Chinese investment. With Australian Education City funded by a Chinese consortium, this development creates the vehicle for significant Chinese investment for infrastructure funding. This is directly aligned to one of the stated actions outlined in Victoria’s China Investment Promotion Program which was to develop investment proposals in sectors aligned to Chinese investor interests, including major infrastructure.
- Australian Education City will also help to drive an increase in tourism, particularly from the families and friends of people studying or working in each precinct. In Victoria alone, China is already our largest international tourism market, generating more than 250,000 visitors per year and more than $800 million to the State’s economy. China is a dramatically growing tourism sector and Australian Education City will tap in to this opportunity.
Australian Education City is a visionary project that leverages our nation’s strengths against the most exciting areas of growth and potential for the future. Exciting things are going to happen.