The Regional Universities Network (RUN) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Australian Government’s International Education Strategy, as announced on March 31.
The chair of RUN, Professor Nick Klomp, said that international students were an integral part of the diverse student mix sought by regional universities.
“Rather than using revenue from international students to fund research, many regional universities have largely used the funds to support the delivery of higher education to domestic students in sparse, regional markets,” Professor Klomp said.
“International students diversify the student cohort, and RUN members have encouraged their enrolment across a range of courses and campuses.
“We welcome the comments by the Minister for Education and Youth, the Hon Alan Tudge, that more could be done to encourage international students to study at regional campuses, including to meet regional skills needs,” Professor Klomp said.
“Those international students who study in the regions record high levels of satisfaction with their learning experience, a high level of acceptance into the local community, and are exposed to the attractions of an authentic Australian regional lifestyle. These include a lower cost of living and less congestion than in major cities.
“Regional communities, businesses and universities benefit from these international links in both the short and long term,” Professor Klomp said.
“We will ensure a strong regional voice is included in the development of this vital strategy paper to support the important ‘re-start’ of the international education sector in the regions.”