Department of State Development

International Education Office

Recognising that the education sector is the largest contributor to South Australia’s service exports and the fifth largest export overall for the state - Deloitte Access Economic Report (PDF), the South Australian Government developed an International Education Action Plan (PDF) which led to the establishment of an International Education Office under the Department of State Development’s (DSDs) International Engagement division.  

Boosting education exports not only contributes to increasing South Australia’s export revenue, it also plays an important role in:

  • bringing in new ideas, know-how and technology that are pivotal to the state’s economic transformation
  • strengthening South Australia’s cultural and social ties with other countries
  • reinforcing our global standing and reputation.

Our role

The International Education Office (IEO) is charged with the implementation of the South Australian Government’s International Education Action Plan. It encourages cooperation of the state’s education providers and strategic partners in key international destinations to support achievement of the State Government’s growth strategy for the sector.  

The IEO has an important coordinating function for the effective delivery of international education. It is part of DSD’s International Engagement division, and co-located with StudyAdelaide, Immigration SA, and the Office of the Training Advocate. Two positions within the Office are funded by the Department of Child Education and Development and TAFESA.

The IEO provides secretariat support to the International Education Ministerial Advisory Council which is the formal platform to:

  • foster collaboration between the government and the international education sector
  • provide advice to government on international education policy issues
  • oversee a range of domestic and international activities to achieve the aspirations set out in the International Education Action Plan.

The IEO also administers the legislation for the state’s universities; provides key policy advice on tertiary education to the Minister for Higher Education and Skills; supports the Premier’s Higher Education Committee, and administers a diverse range of scholarships and other programs to assist in knowledge exchange.

Industry coordination and collaboration

The IEO coordinates whole-of-government activities to work with South Australian education and training providers to achieve South Australia’s international education export target (from 28,300 in 2013 to 35,500 in 2017).

The IEO also promotes the interests of South Australia’s international education and training sector by encouraging sharing of information and promoting collaboration across public and private sector entities engaged in international education and training. The IEO serves as the lynchpin in positioning South Australia as a world-class provider of international education and training.


Leveraging international networks

The IEO is well positioned to identify and qualify opportunities by leveraging its international connections, such as with South Australia’s Overseas Representative Offices; with Austrade’s overseas posts and with its international cooperation partners, through its ‘sister-state’ and ‘sister-city’ relationships offshore (such as West Java in Indonesia, Shandong in China and Danang in Vietnam. Through its relationships with South Australian and Australian international education providers, the IEO also taps into their international connections in identifying new international education and training opportunities.  

Relationship with StudyAdelaide

The IEO works closely with StudyAdelaide in raising the profile of South Australian international education and training. StudyAdelaide is principally funded by the South Australian Government, Adelaide City Council, the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Flinders University. StudyAdelaide also receives funding from TAFESA and 40 participating member institutions.

StudyAdelaide promotes South Australia as a premier learning city and undertakes marketing of Adelaide as an education destination, including targeted global digital campaigns, country specific websites and social media channels, attendance at offshore roadshows and events and agent familiarisation tours to Adelaide.

Its student engagement program ensures that they have a rewarding experience during their time in Adelaide through the dissemination of practical information about studying, living and working in Adelaide; hosting organised events such as welcome on arrival and wide-ranging social and cultural activities. Its Student Ambassador Program provides opportunities for international students to experience studying[LW1]  in Adelaide for a limited period. 

How IEO can help

The IEO provides a range of services to support international engagement of education providers, including:  

  • identification and follow up of international education opportunities and dissemination of information to education providers
  • identification of relevant international contacts, including potential partners, customers, and overseas regulatory authorities specific to education services
  • market selection, entry and expansion advice with the assistance of in-country Department of State Development officers
  • help in assessing benefits of participation in outbound trade missions; business matching and facilitation of meetings
  • access to inbound delegations, business matching and facilitation of meetings
  • dissemination of international education sector information sessions
  • advocacy and representation of South Australia’s international education sector’s interests in national fora, such as the Education Council (Coalition of Australian Governments meeting of Education Ministers); Commonwealth, States and Territory International Education and Training Forum and the Education Visa Consultative Committee
  • information on South Australia’s international education sector and relevant policy and research.

Contact the IEO at 

Key links

Department of State Development business missions

South Australian Student Accommodation Association


Office of the Training Advocate

Austrade International Education

Austrade Market Information Package

Department of Education and Training

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students

Education Services for Overseas Students ACT 2000

JLL report: Adelaide Student Accommodation Demand and Supply Analysis

A report from leading property management firm JLL Australia reveals Adelaide performs better than most Australian capital cities when it comes to student accommodation availability.

Adelaide’s ratio of full-time student to purpose built accommodation beds at 9:1 is greater than Brisbane (15:1), Sydney (16:1) and Melbourne (17:1).

The report indicates further good signs for growth in the international student sector:

  • There is currently no shortage of land surrounding any of the three public universities campuses.
  • Adelaide’s city centre is still relatively underdeveloped compared with the eastern states with room for growth as international student numbers increase.
  • Purpose built accommodation developments in the pipeline for the CBD will result in approximately 1000 new beds over the next two years.
Adelaide: Student Accommodation Demand and Supply Analysis
Download PDF | 2.5 MB

International Education Action Plan

After consultation with the international education sector in South Australia, the International Education Action Plan sets out how the Government together with the sector will increase the number of international students studying in South Australia from 28,300 in 2013 (baseline) to 35,500 by the end of 2017.

Aim of this action plan:

10 point action plan

Plan is to ensure South Australia increases the number of international students


Download the plan

International Education Action Plan
Download PDF | 4.12 MB
VET Sector Development Plan 2017
Download PDF | 907 KB

Deloitte Access Economics report: International education in South Australia

The International Education Action Plan has been informed by a Deloitte Access Economics report which estimates the current contribution of the international education and training sector to South Australia, as well as forecasts potential future growth for the sector from 2016 to 2026.

Download the report

Deloitte Access Economic Report
Download PDF | 3 MB

Download Destination Adelaide PDFDestination Adelaide

Destination Adelaide is a plan to strengthen, support and grow the international student sector.

The plan provides the overarching direction for building South Australia’s brand and reputation and promoting Adelaide as an education destination of choice.

The vision is to strengthen the StudyAdelaide brand off-shore, support international education and training providers, and grow student numbers and Adelaide’s reputation as a leader in delivering a premium education and student experience.

In total the State Government has committed $9.9 million dollars over four years for a range of strategic initiatives to position South Australia as the premier destination for international students.

The Destination Adelaide campaign aims to increase the presence and recognition of BrandSA and StudyAdelaide in international markets, ultimately resulting in more international students studying in South Australia.

Destination Adelaide
Download PDF | 712 KB

Want to know more?

A dedicated International and Higher Education team is on hand
to assist attracting international students to South Australia.