Policy report

Protecting education exports: minimising the damage of China’s future economic coercion

Export marketing International students Relations with China Economic modelling Higher education Australia

Coercion against Australia’s education sector would significantly impact the nation’s prosperity.

Education is Australia’s only remaining export to China valued over $10 billion annually which is both reliant on China and which Beijing can target without significant self-harm. And unlike many industries currently subject to China’s economic coercion, education is job-intensive and closely linked to Australia’s technological competitiveness.

The Australian Government has no mechanism to coordinate efforts to diversify education export markets or cohesively promote Australian education, rendering the sector more exposed to coercion.

In this paper, the authors outline how Australia can protect its education exports from potential economic coercion from China, sharing specific policy recommendations.

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Policy Options Paper 18