Cairns will soon have an international student hub as part of a new project to make sure international students get the most out of their time in the city.
Study Cairns President Carol Doyle said that the Cairns International Student Local Engagement Project is a package of strategies aimed at ensuring that Cairns provides international students with the most positive and rewarding experience.
‘A key strategy of the project will be establishment and operation of a Student Hub in Cairns to welcome and provide support for international students. The Cairns Student Hub will provide support services including orientation to Cairns, accommodation advice, cultural and religious support, individual assistance relating to mental health and wellbeing, work experience and employment advice engagement with local community, and English language support.
The Cairns Student Hub will be a partnership between Study Cairns, its members and Cairns Regional Council,’ said Ms Doyle.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the new hub would be supported by a $90,000 grant from the state government as part of its International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland.
“The proposed hub will offer a wide range of support services and is a key part of the Cairns International Student Local Engagement Project which is a partnership between Study Cairns and the Cairns Regional Council,” Mr Pitt said.
“The hub will provide support services such as an orientation to Cairns for new visiting students, accommodation advice, cultural and religious support, and individual services including health support, work experience, and employment advice.
“The government is contributing $90,000 to the student hub and members of the Cairns International Student Local Engagement Project will contribute funds or services worth more than $228,000.
“The aim of this exciting new hub is to make international students feel even more welcome and supported when they come to Cairns.
“Last year, more than 25,000 international students chose to study in Cairns. International Education brought more than $150 million to the local Far North Queensland economy, employing more than 1,000 people,” Mr Pitt said.
Mr Pitt today opened the International Education and Training Summit on the Gold Coast.
“International education and training is now one of Queensland’s most important industries,” he told delegates.
“We have: 111,500 student enrolments, 160 source countries, $2.9 billion in export revenue, and 19,000 Queensland jobs supported by the sector.
“We all know the success story of Queensland tourism but many are aware of the impact of international education and training on our economy.
“It is now our second biggest services export and is catching up to tourism. In 2016, tourism accounted for 36 per cent of Queensland’s service exports, while international education and training accounted for 27 per cent.”
The Cairns grant is one of 15 projects around the state to receive a total of $661,240 in funding in the first round of distributions from the Queensland Government’s new International Education and Training Partnership Fund.
The $6 million fund is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $25.3 million International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland and supports innovate industry initiatives aimed at further boosting Queensland’s international education and training sector.
Mr Pitt said the response from the international education sector to the fund had been very strong and positive.
“All sectors of the industry were invited to apply, with applications coming from vocational education and training, universities, English language colleges and other providers,” he said.
“There are many more quality projects that we are assessing for funding for the second stage in this current funding round.”
A total of $1.2 million will be allocated from the fund during 2016-17.