Industry sectors,
Work & study

Beauty and Brains - how the Gold Coast became a hub for the education and health care sector

Alex Luck | August 13, 2019

We all know how gorgeous the Gold Coast is, but many don’t realise there are a lot of brains behind all that beauty.

It’s naturally assumed by many the tourism industry ranks number one, but that’s not the case anymore. The city’s health and education sectors combined are leading the way.

If that seems hard to believe, consider the fact the Gold Coast has three universities, countless education and training providers and is home to a 200-hectare Health and Knowledge Precinct. This Precinct includes Griffith University, two major hospitals and it is worth $5 billion in infrastructure.

Fortunately, the health care industry injects $2.8 billion into the Gold Coast economy every year, which clearly makes it a worthwhile investment. It’s also the largest employer in the city providing more than 30,210 jobs to local health care professionals. Not too far behind, the education and training sector contributes $1.7 billion into the city and employ over 18,000 professionals.

How did the Gold Coast become such a booming hub for health care and education?

“Build it and they will come,” says Professor Mark von Itzstein, who leads the Institute of Glycomics at Griffith University.

Professor Itzstein explains on Channel Nine’s program, Sea Changing: 60 Years of the Gold Coast that his dream to build a new medical research team is what motivated him to move from Melbourne to the Gold Coast twenty years ago. “…I had a vision at that point in time,” he says.

It turns out his commitment to this dream has been fruitful. Now Professor Itzstein and his team are leading research into vaccines to prevent malaria, treatments for Hand, Foot and Mouth disease and they have developed a new blood test which can potentially diagnose ovarian cancer early.

“We have no difficulty attracting the world’s best to come and work right here. Worldwide – not just in our nation, but major world leaders in their own right are integrated into this institute to deliver new science and that’s so exciting,” he says.


Bond University


The excitement and growth doesn’t stop there. The Gold Coast education industry continues to expand and has grown 15 percent in the past year alone. According to Alfred Slogrove, CEO of Study Gold Coast, the city’s educational opportunities are a big attraction for international markets.

“We’ve got four key markets that make up about 60% of our cohort now. We’ve got Brazil as our number one, China as number two and then India and Japan,” he says.

Slogrove represents 200 education providers in the city and explains how the Gold Coast became such an education hot spot, “It’s an easy sell. We have an unbeatable lifestyle. It’s a great place to live and be – it’s a diverse community and students love the quality of education that we offer.”

With more than 32,000 international students from over 130 countries, education is in a prime position to grow even more on the Gold Coast. Prospects are abundant for those interested in health care too; the city is home to over 1500 health and medical enterprises.

These opportunities make the Gold Coast a great place to live, work, study and invest.