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The Gold Coast’s international education sector could soon be worth $1 billion according to new data revealing growth in the burgeoning industry.

Deloitte Access Economics research shows international education and training was worth more than $988 million to the Gold Coast region last year, showing 18 per cent year-on-year growth.

Earlier this month the federal government reversed the decision to limit the number of international students on the Gold Coast, a move that is expected to inject millions into the city.

The Gold Coast is now classified as a regional centre, expected to come into effect as of November 16, which means it’s eligible for 25,000 foreign students and can offer an additional year on a temporary and post study visas.

“International education and training is on track to be a billion-dollar industry for the Gold Coast,” Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said, while confirming government’s funding commitment to the Gold Coast’s International Student Hub, in Southport, until 2021.

“It’s up there with tourism, construction and sport as one of the Coast’s most important industries.”

Research from Deloitte found that Brazil, China and India were the Gold Coast’s largest international student cohorts.

The sector supports up to 4700 jobs, according to Deloitte, with an estimated 6200 friends and family of students having travelled to the region over the year, generating $21 million in tourism expenditure,