Information about work, life and play in Regional Australia

Saturday, February 03, 2007

International Students and Regional Australia's Universities

This short post is directed at overseas students interested in studying at one of Australia's universities and their parents.

The purpose of your study is obviously critical to your choice of an Australian university. Depending on your objective, I would recommend that you or your children should consider studying at a university in Regional Australia for the following very practical reasons.

First, the cost is likely to be less, in some cases a whole lot less, even taking extra travel into account. By all manner of means pay the extra if you believe that the gains warrant it, but if you are like me and trying to do the best you can with a limited budget, then Regional is attractive.

Secondly, you or your children are likely to find it a lot easier to meet and mix with Australians simply because the local proportion of students is higher. This can be very important if you want to improve English, to learn about another culture. In some courses at some metro universities, the proportion of overseas students is now over 50 per cent. That's fine, but it blocks you off from local contact.

Thirdly, Regional Australia's universities on average consistently rate higher than their metro cousins on student satisfaction. Student numbers are lower, campus life more intense, relations with staff better.

Fourthly, if (and this is one of the hidden agenda items for many parents) the objective is to gain Australian permanent residency, then going to a Regional Australia university will do you no harm and may even do you good.

Finally, the actual standard of teaching tends to be higher in part because the student/teacher ratios are better. In some metro universities, tutorials have up to forty people in them, hardly a conducive environment for effective discussion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see that there is recognition for those who want to live and study in regional Australia, which we seem to see more and more of with us in particular working through