Friday, July 9, 2010

Educating international students will always be core…

I’ve done a lot of talking and writing in my first year at CQUniversity (okay, it’s one year officially on 3 August) about prioritising Central Queensland and making our engagement with stakeholders in Central Queensland a top priority. That remains the case – for CQUniversity to be considered a truly ‘great’ university in Australia we must be excellent at servicing the diverse needs of Central Queenslanders, foremost.

That being said, however, we can not overlook the work that CQUniversity does in educating international students. That “side” of our University, for well over a decade, has been responsible for most of our growth and has enabled this University to maintain its Central
Queensland resources.

It will continue to have a central role in our growth a development.

So, as part of our ongoing Renewal Program, we’re looking at the possibility of making CQUniversity accessible to a wider audience by opening up more programs across the University in area such as Mining Engineering, Nursing, Education and Health to students from such countries as Africa, South America, the Mideast and Austral-Asia….

Opportunities abound in this space, but just a hint of caution: it’s going to be a challenging next twelve months.

Visa delays, issues with private colleges and training providers, the value of the Australian dollar and other factors are putting immediate and sector-changing pressure on the international student university environment in Australia. By most accounts universities are going to feel it this year, with expectations for -- as economists like to say – negative growth.

Negative growth will reverberate through and challenge every facet of higher education in Australia, not just Universities. What’s happening in Chennai or Nanjing will influence what’s happening here.

That’s the nature of global higher education and one of the things that intrigues and fascinates me. It’s dynamic, ever-changing and always forces one to look well beyond the next term, the next year even the next decade.

We have a ten year plan to build CQUniversity into one of Australia’s greatest universities. To do that, we will –among other things – have to be able to absorb, shift and effectively respond to external forces, whether those forces are international market variables, local preferences or new government policy.

Are we ready?

1 comment:

Tasmiha Tarafder said...

The recommendations (13-15) given in the Bradley review clearly mentions the importance of targeting international students at various Australian universities. As CQuniversity is a regional university, therefore its major responsibilities are to engage students from LSES. However, international students are also one of the major incomes generating population in Australia's so called emerging position in the knowledge economy