Industry strengths and capabilities

Unparalleled education sector

A wealth of tertiary education providers

NSW hosts Australia's premier research and higher education infrastructure and is home to 11 universities, including Australia's oldest public university and the oldest technical university. NSW's academic staff are recruited from around the world and are often leading industry experts in their  field.

In addition, NSW offers quality and choice in vocational education and training (VET). The state has almost 1,200 community based and private registered training organisations (RTOs) operating locally, as well as the public TAFE NSW system which is the largest vocational education and training provider in Australia and one of the largest in the world. NSW's TAFE institutes, English-language colleges and private VET providers are internationally recognised for the qualifications they provide and their pathways into local industry and higher education.

NSW remains the most popular Australian destination for VET, with over 72,000 international student enrolments within the VET sector in NSW in 2015. Local English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers also hold a majority share (40%) of the Australian ELICOS market in terms of student enrolments.

Wide variety of study options

Students in Sydney and regional NSW are spoilt for choice. The state's universities, colleges and TAFE institutes offer thousands of courses across a wide array of subjects designed to complement students' academic and career goals. Many courses can also be tailored to suit students' individual interests.

NSW's proximity to Asia provides a unique gateway for those looking to develop a deeper knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region and business pathways, with a large number of international students taking advantage of the MBA programs on offer in Australia.

Additionally, NSW offers a range of English language courses at private colleges, vocational institutes and universities for students of all levels. There were about 58,000 international student enrolments in English language courses across the state in 2015.

Highly regulated education sector

In NSW, education providers and courses are regularly accredited through an independent and transparent system. Students can be confident in the quality of the courses they are undertaking and this transparent approach helps improve education outcomes.

In addition, education institutions are subject to high levels of accountability in terms of their financial practices, and must also comply with government and industry policies and regulations.

Inclusive and welcoming environment

NSW was the first state in Australia and the second place in the world to introduce a deliberate policy to welcome cultural and linguistic diversity as a social and economic advantage. This policy is reflected in the state's approach to education delivery.

The state actively promotes respect and inclusiveness, and has built strong links overseas, promoting NSW as an education destination and providing support to international students when they arrive.

ELICOS assist in helping students reach the level of English-language skills required to complete their studies effectively.

The advantages start early

But it's not all about tertiary-level education. Public and private primary and secondary schools across NSW offer an excellent learning environment, with the state's students performing well above the OECD average in reading, and mathematic and scientific literacy.

Safety and transparency is an integral part of NSW school systems – whether public or private. Class sizes are small, resourcing and infrastructure is superb, and teaching staff are highly qualified and motivated.