Marita Hope and Sandra Joya who was interested in nursing.CQUniversity TAFE open day.
Marita Hope and Sandra Joya who was interested in nursing.CQUniversity TAFE open day. Mike Richards GLA230119TAFE

Diversity needed to bring international students to region

GETTING international students into Central Queensland is something Professor John Rolfe sees as a huge win for our local economy.

But if we're to be successful, we need to look at creating a more welcoming environment.

That was the CQUniversity economics professor's advice at the Future CQ forum held at Rosslyn Bay last month.

Prof Rolfe said education could be a great "export'' for the region, but international students wouldn't be attracted to the area without more diverse lifestyle options.

Last month the Federal Government also announced Destination Australia tertiary scholarships where international and domestic students could apply for scholarships to a regional university or vocational education facility.

CQUniversity professor John Rolfe.
WELCOME MAT: CQUniversity Professor John Rolfe. Contributed

There will be 4720 scholarships on offer over four years.

International students who choose to study regionally will also get an extended temporary graduate visa to live and work in Australia for an extra year.

There will be no work limits for those on visas who live and study in the regions.

However, as Prof Rolfe ruefully pointed out at Future CQ, there has been no definition of "regional” in Destination Australia's marketing.

"The Federal Government has different interpretations of regions sometimes,” he said.

"We could do a lot more as a region to make it easier for people from these backgrounds and be part of the community.''

By making the community more attractive to regional students, Prof Rolfe said Central Queensland could also better understand the markets we're looking to grow exports in.