12th April, 2013
For a small island such as Tasmania, any opportunity to gain from international recognition will be taken within the blink of an eye.
It seems that the state’s higher education system could be the gateway to such fame as the island becomes a popular destination for international students.
The University of Tasmania has managed to buck the trend of falling numbers to become one of the most popular places for international students to study within Australia.
Asia is the biggest source for foreign students with over 80% of visitors coming from Asia and in particular China and Malaysia.
This popularity has allowed for the overall applications to UTAS from overseas to jump by 10% in the past year further showing the rise in popularity of the small island.
Over the past few years, the university has further advertised to foreign bodies in Asia by opening up its own education scheme in Shanghai and also being a prominent part of the Tasmania tourism advert that features in the Asian Century White Paper.
There are more than just cultural links that could be gained from the international student boom as it can also help further boost the tourism industry across the island.
In fact, it’s thought that if the rise of international students in Tasmania continues at its current rate, then it would bring an extra $300 million to the island every year.
The university’s vice chancellor Peter Rathjen believes that the island has shown that it has all the ingredients needed to attract a wealth of foreign students to the state each year. In an interview with the Hobart Mercury, he said that “The state’s geographical position, its reputation for safety, the continuing enhancement of the student experience on campus, and the fact that we are home to some of the world’s leading academic enterprises, such as the AMC, IMAS and the Menzies research Institute Tasmania, were all contributing factors.”
To highlight how the increase of international students has benefitted the island, leading figures on the island has invited Chinese President Xi Jengping.
Mr Xi has been to every state in Australia so far apart from Tasmania and a visit from a leading global figure would be the icing on the cake to seal the island’s place as an international education hotspot.
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