Issue 4

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Canberra: Australia's Education Capital

The ACT International Education Strategy – Canberra: Australia’s Education Capital - was launched by the Chief Minister and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research on Friday 2 September 2016.

The Strategy – a first for the ACT - supports one of our most important industry sectors and recognises that thriving campuses create opportunities for collaboration, commercialisation, business creation, talent attraction and retention.

One in nine Canberrans work or study at our education institutions. Canberra educates around 44,000 higher education students and over 20,000 vocational education students each year, including more than 12,000 international students. In fact, international education is Canberra’s largest export.

It also recognises that international students bring diverse perspectives, build cultural awareness and understanding, drive broader visitation, develop people to people links, build business, trade and investment links, and after graduation (as alumni) act as advocates, innovators, and exemplars, and raise the profile of Canberra around the world.

Collaboration is a priority and the strategy was developed in partnership with institutions through the Vice-Chancellors’ Forum.

Through a partnership approach, the Strategy focuses on five broad areas:

  1. Promoting Canberra as a centre for high quality education and study destination of choice;
  2. Enhancing the student experience;
  3. Growing our international engagement;
  4. Strengthening partnerships and collaboration; and
  5. Supporting reforms to enable growth.

As one of the first deliverables under the Strategy the ACT Government will introduce free, streamlined nomination of Skilled Migrant (subclass 190) Visa applications for PhD graduates from Canberra institutions.

This means that, subject to meeting Commonwealth requirements, any international student awarded a PhD by a Canberra University can apply for fast tracked nomination to live and work in Canberra should they wish to apply through the 190 visa State/Territory nomination process.

The streamlined nomination for international PhD graduates will come into effect in November 2016 and will be open to students who have completed a PhD locally in the previous two years.

Applicants will benefit from a simplified application process with minimal supporting documentation, simplified criteria, priority processing and the removal of the $300 service fee.

The media release for these announcements is available here.

A full version of the ACT International Education Strategy is available from the Innovate Canberra website.

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Study Canberra: Attracting and welcoming new students

Two of Canberra’s key education events for prospective students were held during August 2016 - Canberra CareersXpo (3-4 August) and Tertiary Open Day (27 August).

Over 7,000 secondary school students descended on the Canberra CareersXpo during the two-day event, along with their parents, teachers and careers advisers. A full complement of ACT institutions were on show, and Study Canberra’s Student Ambassadors worked alongside the institutions to promote Canberra’s education and lifestyle credentials to the eager local and regional students.

Just a few weeks later our Student Ambassadors were out in force again – this time for Tertiary Open Day, with five of Canberra’s institutions opening their doors to the public for one huge day to showcase their world-class facilities. Thousands of prospective students and their parents travelled from interstate and even overseas to visit campuses, speak to staff and students, and gather all the necessary information about studying in Canberra.

Earlier in the semester Study Canberra worked closely with several of Canberra’s tertiary education institutions to offer new students a warm welcome to the capital.

The Study Canberra Welcome Desk was stationed at Canberra International Airport to greet students arriving from interstate and overseas, and signs above the baggage carousels with the messaging ‘Welcome to Canberra. Australia’s education capital’ were showcased.

Student Ambassadors were also heavily involved with Orientation activities on multiple campuses. The Ambassadors know how daunting it can be to arrive in a new city for the first time. By sharing their experiences and offering real world advice the transition for new students is made a little easier.

Taiwanese Study Tour with Lake Tuggeranong College

Earlier in 2016 Lake Tuggeranong College hosted a study tour group comprising of 15 students, two teachers and the school principal from Shilin High School in Taipei. The ACT Government’s study tour program affords visiting students a unique academic and cultural experience in Canberra, the nation’s capital.

The visiting Taiwanese students experienced a mix of ESL classes and mainstream vocational courses, in addition to visiting Canberra’s most popular tourist destinations and socialising with their Australian peers. Students were placed in homestay with members of the Lake Tuggeranong College community and experienced life with a local Canberra family.

A highlight of this study tour was the opportunity for educators from both schools to collaborate and share similar educational philosophies and pedagogy. The newly formed relationship between Lake Tuggeranong College and Shilin High School will be further strengthened with reciprocated future visits by students and staff.

The study tour program provides an unrivalled platform allowing ACT public school students to make authentic connections and develop meaningful relationships based on shared and differing educational experiences with students from around the world.

The program is coordinated by the International Education Unit within the ACT Government’s Education Directorate. The team welcome any enquiries regarding this initiative by email at or call (02) 6205 9178.

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Student Ambassador profile

“I chose Canberra because of the endless opportunities that Canberra has to offer. Being a relatively young city, it has great ideas and possibilities that make it a great place for me to explore. Canberra is a hidden gem that I have fallen in love with.”

Annaz from Malaysia is in Canberra to study a Bachelor of Economics at the Australian National University.

Read the rest of his story here.

One good thing after another!

Spring is the season of celebration in Canberra – from a jam-packed calendar of annual events and award-winning restaurants to endless natural attractions and a multitude of galleries and museums just waiting to be explored.

Celebrate the turn of the season at Floriade, the largest flower show in the Southern Hemisphere, and a much loved fixture on Canberra’s events calendar. This premium garden event showcases the best in horticulture, creative landscaping, innovation and design from 17 September – 16 October. And don’t miss the five-night after dark extravaganza, Floriade NightFest, from 28 September – 2 October with spectacular lighting designs and installations, pop-up roving entertainment, live comedy and music acts.

Immerse yourself in a pop-up arts trail along the southern shores of Lake Burley Griffin during Contour 556, from 22 October - 13 November. Fifty local, national and international artists present public works, including dance, soundscapes, projections and ‘traditional’ sculpture, which respond to the layers of Canberra’s history.

Get out of the city and explore more than 20 marked walking trails at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, ranging from an easy 15-minute stroll to an all-day bushwalk. Some of the most popular trails allow for glimpses of platypus, possums, wombats, echidnas, emus and many other birds and reptiles.

Enjoy a weekend of local wines matched with scrumptious food, while roving from winery to winery, and taking in the beautiful countryside along the way during the Murrumbateman Moving Feast from 1-2 October.

From 18-19 November, drop into the city’s artistic Tocumwal Lane to sample a pop-up selection of some of the Canberra district’s best food and cool climate wines at Food and Wine in the Laneway.

Explore the history of humanity – how we have shaped the world, and how the world has shaped us ‒ with the newly unveiled major international exhibition A History Of The World In 100 Objects From The British Museum at the National Museum of Australia.

Celebrate Canberra’s Sister City relationship with Nara (Japan) at the Canberra Nara Candle Festival on 29 October with calligraphy, origami, Japanese food, martial arts demonstrations, entertainment and the lighting of more than 2,000 candles.

If sport is more your thing, be in the crowd on 12 November when the Central Coast Mariners take on Wellington Phoenix at GIO Stadium Canberra in a remembrance weekend fixture. Canberra will also host the first two matches of a five match one-day international series between the Australian women’s team and South Africa, with Manuka Oval set to come alive with cricket action on November 18 and 20.

Not enough? Even more options can be found at Visit Canberra.

Canberra really does offer one good thing after another!

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