Federation University Australia’s new Pro-Vice Chancellor International says he will work to raise the university’s international profile and continue to attract ‘quality’ international students.
Professor Talal Yusaf, who began at Federation University in September, said he aims to place the university on the international horizon for research and teaching through his established networks worldwide.
This renewed international focus comes as Australian universities continue to grow their reputations for excellence in higher education.
Government data released last week showed almost 90 per cent of international students are satisfied with their study experience at Australian universities.
British-based Centre for Global Higher Education now predicts Australia will surpass the United Kingdom to become the world’s second most popular destination for international students by 2019.
Around 35 per cent of Federation University’s students are international, one of the highest proportions of all Australian universities.
Professor Yusaf said many international students, particular mature-age students with families, prefer to live regional.
“I think we are doing an excellent job in breaking the divide between a big city like Melbourne and a regional area like Ballarat,” he said.
“In comparison to other universities, we have fantastic accommodation here which is a big plus for an international student to come here.”
Federation University’s largest proportion of international students comes from China, India and Nepal.
Professor Yusaf said the number of students from the Middle East and South East Asia was rising.
Student support services at Federation University are well recognised.
More than 78 per cent of students are satisfied with the support they received at Federation University, according to The Good Universities Guide, a rate which falls within the top 20 per cent of all Australian universities.
Professor Yusaf said Federation University’s support of international students begins before they even arrive at the university.
“Our marketing manager provides students with information about the university, the program they study and the city. Another admission team is in contact before they arrive,” he said.
“Once they arrive they are connected with a mentor.”
According to Universities Australia, 84 per cent of international students return to their country of origin after their studies.
The peak university sector body has previously dismissed concerns of ‘over-reliance’ on international students, saying the increase in international students in Australia has been a ‘self-made success story’.
This story originally appeared in The Courier – FedUni to strengthen international reputation