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Curtin, Murdoch and Edith Cowan Universities are constructing inner-city campuses to revitalise the Perth CBD. Image – Canva
  • Property Council calls for parties to commit to a safe international student return program
  • International students make a $2 billion contribution to WA economy, says Property Council WA
  • Only 10 international students arrived in December – down by 99.6% compared to December 2019

On the eve of the Western Australian election – to be held this Saturday, 13 March – the Property Council of Western Australia has called for all political parties to outline commitments for facilitating a safe international student return program.

Sandra Brewer, the Property Council of WA’s Executive Director, said that having handled the pandemic in a relatively successful manner, Western Austalia is an attractive destination for international students.

Ms Brewer said that along with a $2 billion contribution to the WA economy, international students create vibrancy in urban areas and many students will be future leaders who have connections to Australia’s nearest and largest trading partners such as China, Japan and South Korea.

According to a report prepared for Purpose-Built Student Accommodation Industry Working Group, international student tuition has a 4.12 multiplier effect.

This means for every $1 spent in tuition fees for international students, $4.12 flows into the economy.

“We need an international student strategy that supports our economic recovery and can bring vibrancy to Perth’s city centre beyond the traditional business functions.”

“Reactivating Perth’s reputation as a university city is at the heart of the $1.5 billion Perth City Deal. Without a sufficient student population to support ongoing investment, there is no deal.”

Sandra Brewer, Property Council WA

According to Ms Brewer, other Australian jurisdictions have begun implementing safe student return programs. Charles Darwin University collaborated with both the Northern Territory and Federal Governments in December to facilitate 63 international students return to Australia. The university said these students alone will contribute over $40,000 to the economy this year.

As part of the Perth City Deal, three WA-universities – Edith Cowan, Curtin and Murdoch – will bring 25,000 students and staff into the CBD with the construction of these new inner-city campuses costing $1 billion with the projects set to employ 4,100 construction jobs.

Ms Brewer concluded that the incoming government needs to commit to the ongoing support of StudyPerth, citing the greater economic benefits of attracting international students.

“StudyPerth has played an instrumental role in elevating the profile of WA with international students. Supporting StudyPerth to attract more international students will boost our state’s population, create new jobs, generate economic activity and underpin housing delivery over the coming years.”

Sandra Brewer, Property Council WA

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