For any international student looking for a top quality education at a university with a vibrant international student population, it is hard to beat CQUniversity. Over the years it has built a reputation for its dedication for diversity, which is reflected in the fact that approximately half of its 20,000-plus students come from outside Australia.
CQUniversity’s international students hail from over 60 different countries, with the largest international student cohorts from India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and the Middle East.
The man in charge of bringing international students to CQUniversity and looking after their welfare is Professor Ken Hawkins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International). We asked him why he thinks CQUniversity is so popular among international students.
“All campuses are sensitive to the cultural requirements of overseas students, delivering programs especially designed and suited to international students’ lifestyles and academic requirements,” he said. “Even before a student leaves their home country, pre-departure information sessions are held for parents and students to cover key aspects of living and studying in Australia.”
Another big draw for prospective students is the location or, more accurately, locations. With 10 campuses on Australia’s east coast, students can choose to study in the heart of some of Australia’s most popular urban destinations: Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney, or experience the outback and the beach at Rockhampton. There are also regional campuses in Bundaberg, Gladstone and Mackay. Some programs are taught on a number of campuses allowing students to transfer between CQUniversity campuses and see more of Australia.
Professor Hawkins explains that the first vital activity for all new students is the New Student Orientation Program, run each term before the commencement of classes. Orientation is essential for all new students and provides the opportunity to learn more about living and studying in Australia and to meet fellow students, teachers and other members of campus staff.
Academically, CQUniversity offers a series of pre-university pathway programs, more than 45 undergraduate and 40 postgraduate coursework programs, as well as Masters and PhD Research programs. These cover just about every area of study, from business to performing arts, so there is no shortage of choice for prospective students. And Professor Hawkins is keen to stress that care for international students extends well beyond orientation week.
“We pride ourselves in helping international students along their learning journey. Specialist academic support is provided by the Learning Skills Unit (LSU). This is a free service for students. There are also dedicated English programs available at some campuses. Students can access a range of employment and career-oriented services through the Training, Employment and Career Coaching (TECC). TECC can also advise students on how to obtain work experience in their area of study that will give them an advantage in the job market when they graduate,” he says.
CQUniversity has close ties with business and industry and graduates are invariably very well received in the workplace, whether they decide to pursue their careers in Australia or overseas. In fact, recent ratings from The Good Universities Guide demonstrate CQUniversity’s leadership in higher education, especially in areas such as graduate employment, starting salaries accessibility and equity, and international programs.
For students wishing to take their education to the highest level, CQUniversity has also gained an international reputation for research excellence, being voted in the top 10 percent of universities worldwide.
“Our engagement with business and industry means your research can have an immediate impact on and benefit to our communities and really make a difference. We concentrate our research excellence in three categories: natural resources and sustainability, healthy communities and education research,” says Professor Hawkins.
“Natural resources and sustainability research focuses on the industrial and environmental sectors. Healthy communities reflect CQUniversity’s expertise in the areas of health management and promotion, nursing, exercise physiology and occupational health. The University’s International Education Research Institute (IERI) and Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre address a wide range of issues faced by the higher education sector, including teaching, curriculum and assessment.”
While CQUniversity has a lot of things going for it, the one aspect that really stands out from the crowd is the personal attention that is paid to each and every student. Small and intimate campuses ensure that students are not mere numbers at CQUniversity, they’re people. We’ll leave Professor Hawkins with the last word: “We do not have a blanket approach to education. We understand that there is no one size fits all. We strive to provide individual and personalised learning so, in every sense, CQUniversity is all about the students.”
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