Travel and Tourism, one of the world’s fastest growing sector appears to be paramount in shaping global economy, as well as specific countries. In addition to other tourism sectors, educational tourism is of equal importance for the tourism export. Australia is one of the destinations who draws attention of many international visitors by means of education. This piece of writing will elaborate on the Australian education system that generates demand, and evaluate educational tourists’ needs through Moslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory.
Australian education system is composed of set standards and regulations entailing a consistent and high-quality education. In order to provide services to international students, institutions must be registered with the CRICOS. There are set quality standards for registration, where a total of 1,327 institutions throughout Australia are providing these services (Department of Education and Training 2017). They not only propose a high quality education, but also offer variety of courses which amplify demand for educational tourism in Australia. A demand may depend on a number of needs and wants of the international educational tourists. According to Maslow’s hierarchy, needs are categorized into five types including physiological, safety, belonging and love, esteem and self-actualization needs, as seen in figure 1. Are these needs satisfied? It will be elucidated in the next paragraphs.
Based on the physiological needs, clean water, delectable food, and quality accommodation are common in Australia. Australian accommodations are one of the most expensive worldwide which may limit tourists for educational tourism (Metropole 2017). However, Australia is known for its cultural diversity where foods of all cultures could be found. Safe food Australia is a guide for food safety standards, where the government agencies are responsible for enforcing food standards (World Food Regulation 2016). Being that, a good quality food is on offer to encourage educational tourism in Australia. Best of all, in Australia, 100% of the population have access to clean water (The Guardian 2016). Indeed, Australia does facilitate the basic needs for international tourist.
In terms of safety, Australia is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. It is rated amongst the top fifteen safest countries to travel to, with 1.46 global peace index (Worldatlas 2017). Furthermore, the educational security is ensured by enforcing laws, rules and regulations, and standards for quality assurance of education. Such as, ASOS Act 2000 protects international students for their rights; National Code of Practice measures the quality of education, and the Australian Skill Quality Authority scrutinises vocational and training services.
Belonging and love needs are well satiated in Australia, due to its cultural diversity. Australia is one of the most diverse countries in the world where almost one in four Australians are born overseas (Australian Government 2017). This diversity imparts openness to all races and faiths, and stimulates love and belonging.
In accordance with the esteem need, Australian education is well-recognized worldwide, that not only accomplishes one’s achievement and recognition needs, but also advances his/her personal status. In 2017 about fifteen of the Australian universities are listed in the top 100 universities worldwide (QS Top Universities 2017). Although some of its educational institutions are not listed in top global rankings, Australian education system may still be better than most countries, which may lead to higher esteem.
The ultimate need, self-actualization refers to one’s inner satisfaction, whose gratification is evaluated through the number of increased educational tourists in Australia for the past two decades. Figure 2 shows a massive increase in the number of educational tourists since 1994 (Department of Education and Training 2017). This growth rightly represents international student’s inner satisfaction.
Hence, Australia accommodates physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs, and is optimal to pursue education in Australia. Hereafter, the objective is to identity educational tourists motivation through pull factors, push factors and enabling factors which will be discussed in the forthcoming post. For more posts feel free to connect on LinkedIn as below.