Victoria has upheld its standing as one of the world’s leading destinations for international students, with its Australian-first Study Melbourne Student Centre claiming the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) Award for ‘Best Practice in International Education’ at the Australian International Education Conference 2015.
The prestigious award recognises the work of an individual or team that has contributed to international education through a ground breaking development across areas including marketing and communication, support programs for international students and social inclusion activities.
Founded in 2010, the Study Melbourne Student Centre is a ‘one-stop-shop’ vibrant international student hub for free information, events and activities; face-to-face practical and confidential support; crisis intervention and help in emergency situations; and online engagement through social media.
Located in the Melbourne CBD, the Centre is staffed by five caseworkers and also provides free and confidential assistance 24-hours a day, seven days a week via a phone line to all international students across Victoria.
The Centre has supported more than 3400 students in times of need, and complements the support on offer to international students by their Victorian education providers.
It offers education providers and international students with early intervention on a range of welfare issues – including employment rights and working conditions – and referrals to Commonwealth agencies when required.
The recognition of the Study Melbourne Student Centre in improving the experience of international students in Victoria follows the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment of $4 million to deliver projects that support international students during their stay in Victoria.
The International Student Welfare Grants will support international students, in areas such as health, housing, financial management, safety and consumer affairs matters.
Each year Victoria attracts more than 160,000 international students. International education generated $5.3 billion in export earnings in 2014 and supports over 30,000 jobs, making it Victoria’s largest single export sector.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert
“The Andrews Labor Government is proud to receive this prestigious IEAA award for best practice in international education and acknowledge the exceptional efforts of the Study Melbourne Student Centre and its staff.”
“Initiatives such as the Study Melbourne Student Centre and the International Student Welfare Grants help create a positive experience for international students, and can increase the likelihood that they will recommend Victoria as a place to study to family, friends and peers.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to investing in a quality experience for international students and promoting the State as a global leader in international education.”