International education is estimated to represent Australia’s third largest export industry. While the majority of Australia’s international vocational education and training (VET) delivery is to international students based in Australia, the volume of VET delivery to offshore students has grown significantly over the past decade.
Deloitte Access Economics (20151) estimated the value of international offshore income to be around $434 million in 2014; this includes $53 million from offshore VET. While the majority of VET delivery to international students is in Australia, a significant proportion of this delivery is provided offshore. It is estimated that around one quarter of international students are now located offshore (ASQA, 2018).
In 2015, ASQA conducted an offshore audit pilot in order to test the quality of offshore VET, trial the offshore audit process and develop an effective offshore regulatory strategy. The pilot involved site audits of four public providers at a range of locations in China, following negotiation with Chinese authorities.
In 2014, ASQA released its Strategy for the regulation of offshore delivery of vocational education and training by Australian registered organisations 2014–2016, which seeks to manage the risks posed by offshore VET delivery. The strategy identified the need to conduct a pilot of offshore audits, in order to trial the audit processes and to inform future regulatory policy and activity in relation to the offshore delivery of VET.
For more information on the Pilot audit, audit process, audit outcomes (summary), and useful recommendation, Download: ASQA’s Offshore Delivery Publication.