World class drive
WA’S only public high school dedicated solely to overseas students raked in more than $7.4 million in fees last year, helping to pay for far-flung recruiting drives in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Zambia, Hong Kong and China.
The Education Department spent more than $62,000 sending staff to market Canning College to the seven countries in the first half of 2019 as the State Government continues its pursuit of lucrative international students.
Canning College was established in Bentley in 1982 to provide an avenue for adults who had dropped out of high school to complete their Year 12 education and has accepted international students since 1985.
In December 2017, the Mcgowan government announced it would bar local students from the school from 2019 as part of $64 million in planned funding cuts. The move resulted in a 24 per cent surge in enrolments of international students at Canning College to 403 last year – more than half of all overseas students in the public school system – with acting Education Minister Rita Saffioti confident many would decide to attend university in WA.
“Most Canning College graduates progress to WA universities and contribute significantly to the economy for at least four years, but in most cases more than four years,” she said.
“This comes mainly from education fees, living expenditure including housing, and from tourism of friends and family into Perth.”
While Canning College collected $7.4m in fees last year alone, Ms Saffioti said none of the money would flow into Government coffers, with the school instead operating on a costrecovery basis.
“It is anticipated that demand for college courses will continue to grow in line with State Government initiatives to develop international education in Western Australia,” Ms Saffioti said.
Unveiled in October, one of those schemes will allow up to 35 Chinese students per year to enrol at some of WA’S most sought-after public schools, including Willetton, Rossmoyne, Churchlands and Applecross high schools, Shenton and Bob Hawke colleges and John Curtin College of the Arts.
Ms Saffioti revealed the State Government had so far spent $20,000 sending two principals and other delegates to China to promote the initiative.
“The delegation was also involved in promoting international education in Western Australia generally,” she said.
The Mcgowan government would not disclose how much it had spent advertising the Chinese student program, but Ms Saffioti said “videos, brochures, flyers and banners have been developed to promote all international education opportunities”.