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Queensland Government provides funding boost for international student initiatives

The Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr Curtis Pitt announced more than $200,000 of State Government funding during a visit to the Gold Coast for the Queensland Government’s inaugural International Education and Training Summit, which attracted more than 350 local and international delegates.

“Last year, the Gold Coast was voted the most popular beachside student city in the world,” Mr Pitt said.

“Today, the city hosts more than 25,000 international students from 130 countries.  Of all of Australia’s non-capital cities, the Gold Coast offers the greatest education choice and is increasing its reputation for research-based excellence.

“We all know the success story of Queensland tourism but many are aware of the impact of international education and training on our economy.”

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The State Government is supporting four Gold Coast projects:

  • $27,680 in matching funds for the Gold Coast Careers Festival, which is held annually in May and is the largest and most comprehensive careers event on the Gold Coast.
  • $10,000 in matching funds for the Study Gold Coast Start-up Initiative, which will be open to local and international student and is designed to support the development of locally based innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
  • $150,000 in matching funds for the Study Gold Coast Student Hub, which will offer a range of support services to international students.
  • $14,210 for a Gold Coast universities-led proposal to invite scholarship agencies to the Gold Coast to visit local universities and the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge precinct.

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The funds are on top of almost $36,000 in funding and support provided by the universities.

“These four Gold Coast initiatives are among the 15 projects around the state to receive a total of $661,240 in the first round of distributions from the Queensland Government’s new $6 million International Education and Training Partnership Fund,” said Mr Pitt.

Study Gold Coast CEO Shannon Willoughby said the funding demonstrated the State Government’s commitment to nurturing and growing the city’s fastest growing economic pillar.

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“It’s an exciting time for education as a driving, economic force and also for future students who choose the Gold Coast as a study destination,” said Ms Willoughby.

“The State Government has demonstrated a commitment to Gold Coast education and this week became aware of our objectives when the city hosted the first ever International Education Summit.

“This funding will enable Study Gold Coast to fast-track a proposed Student Hub, which will offer a range of support services to international students; assist in growing the annual Gold Coast Careers Expo and enable the launch of a start-up fund to help young student entrepreneurs bring their ideas to reality.”

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Mr Pitt said the fund was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $25.3 million International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland supporting innovate industry initiatives aimed at further boosting Queensland’s international education and training sector.

“The funded projects will energise the sector. We have funded projects that will have the most impact on sustainable growth for the industry, and put Queensland at the forefront of international education and training,” Mr Pitt said.

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“Education 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.

 “We have: 111,500 student enrolments, 160 source countries, $2.9 billion in export revenue, and 19,000 Queensland jobs supported by the sector.”

[Jenny Nguyen]

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