Page 3352 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. The two areas where study Canberra will play a significant role are in raising the destination awareness of Canberra as an education city and in improving the student experience of living and studying in Canberra. For the people I met who knew about or had studied in Canberra, their views were very positive about the experience. Our campaign of destination awareness will target those who do not know about Canberra and the unique experience of living and studying here. The trip certainly highlighted the need to raise awareness of Canberra in China and to promote the many features the city has to offer.
Alongside this campaign, we will need to continue to work on making the Canberra study experience one of the world’s best in setting ourselves apart from other cities. This can occur in a number of areas, as was suggested to me on the trip, including looking at how we could provide work experience or internship arrangements for students—and one of the things that are very important to Chinese parents is the fact that their children will be employable following study—looking at accommodation and home-stay arrangements which are very popular with Chinese families and also looking at, in terms of the links from school education to university, whether there is an opportunity to provide international students who are attending our higher school system the opportunity of a guaranteed entrance into university should they meet certain entrance criteria. Again, that is very popular in a country where there are often six adults supporting one child, and one of their top focuses or top priorities is ensuring that their children get a first-class and a world-class education, which they are certainly able to do in Canberra.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Chief Minister, with the prospect of significant job losses in the federal public service—
MADAM SPEAKER: Preamble.
DR BOURKE: how important are the plans—
MADAM SPEAKER: Preamble, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Chief Minister, how important are the plans by our major universities in growing the international student market?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. Growing the international student market is a key priority for the ACT government. We announced it as part of our agenda in the election campaign but it also forms part of the work that has been done around and through economic diversification. The ACT currently has approximately 9,000 international students studying at our universities. We also have an additional 1,000 or so international students studying at our VET institution and around 470 within our high school and college school system.