Page 2620 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013

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This forum will be used to direct the initiatives under study Canberra. One of the first things we will be doing—I have had a meeting with the vice-chancellors—is to identify the priority areas of how we can coordinate and collaborate on our promotion of Canberra. The universities each do their own thing, and that is entirely understandable and will continue, but I think there is genuine agreement that the universities can coordinate the work they are doing with the work the government is doing and we will all have a shared benefit from that.

I am pleased the vice-chancellors have seen the opportunities in collaborating with the government. It will allow us to have a single approach to promoting Canberra overseas, and I hope my role in it will be able to add some weight to the work they already do on an individual university level.

With the Vice-chancellors forum we have ANU, UC, the Catholic university and the University of New South Wales represented. It has had one meeting to date. We will have further meetings, but I am very pleased with the progress that has been made and look forward to working with it once the budget passes to prioritise study Canberra and the benefits it will bring to the city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Chief Minister, what kind of measures do you think are important to create Canberra as a study destination?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. I really think there are some natural strengths that the ACT has in promoting our community to both domestic and international students as a study destination. We already educate about 38,000 students attending university. We have just over two per cent of the international student market, which puts our numbers between 8,000 and 9,000 and growing. There are some very strong positives around Canberra which are seen as advantages for parents overseas, particularly when they are considering a place for their children to attend university.

There is a lot more work we can do to promote the city as a study destination. We have had some discussion on that at the vice-chancellors forum. There have been many ideas put up—whether we have an annual international student day, whether we look at having an international student component to some of the festivals that we have, whether we look at having some coordinated work done to bring agents to the ACT and showcase to them parts of Canberra and the universities so that they can go back and sell Canberra to their local students. So a range of ideas have come up. Many of them have merit, and we will work with the vice-chancellors forum to progress them. The study Canberra initiative allows us to do that.

MADAM SPEAKER: Questions without notice.

DR BOURKE: Minister, is there a target group or country that you have identified—

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, hang on a second. Dr Bourke, are you asking a supplementary question?

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