Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Humanities and Social Sciences in the International Education Market

Christopher Ziguras.

There are currently well over one million students studying overseas, many of whom are funding the cost of their own education to pursue studies that are not available in their home countries. In Australia, New Zealand, the UK and a growing number of other countries, income derived from international students is essential for the continuation of university operations, as government funding shrinks. Those universities and disciplines within them that are able to attract fee-paying international students are consequently in a better financial position than those that do not. This paper looks at how the humanities and social sciences have fared in the international student market place, focusing on the experience of Australian universities. Australia has a higher proportion of international students in its universities than any country apart from Switzerland, and a significant proportion of the revenue of Australian universities is derived from international students’ tuition fees. The paper shows that the humanities and social sciences attract a higher proportion of students from Europe and North America than from Asia, and a higher proportion of students in postgraduate than undergraduate programs. Australia’s international student intake is overwhelmingly comprised of undergraduate students from Asia, who generally enrol in business administration and technology programs. The paper then analyses those programs in the humanities and social sciences that have managed to attract a significant proportion of international students, and concludes by assessing the extent to which such market pressures will affect future curriculum development in these fields.


Christopher Ziguras  (Australia)
Deputy Director

Globalism Institute

Christopher Ziguras is Deputy Director of the Globalism Institute at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and Acting Head of RMIT's School of International and Community Studies. His research interests include international education policy, transnational higher education, commercialisation of education, international trade in services, trade policy, and the individualisation of health care. He recently published Self-Care: Embodiment, Personal Autonomy and the Shaping of Health Consciousness (Routledge 2004) and co-edited The International Publishing Services Market (Common Ground 2002).

  • International Education Market

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)