I was honoured to represent the City of Sydney at Customs House yesterday for the International Education providers forum 2016, co-hosted in conjunction with NSW Police and StudyNSW. This 4th iteration brought together groups and institutions concerned with improving the international education sector in Sydney. The Forum has covered the issues around accommodation, well-being, work opportunities and social and cultural integration.
As a side note, the last week’s public release of the City of Sydney wellness report demonstrated education levels across the City of Sydney steadily rising, no doubt in part to the work that the forum has done over the past few years. The percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree has risen by 5.1% between 2006 and 2011 for example. Unfortunately, the report did not provide numbers regarding international students, which make up a significant proportion of visitors to the City of Sydney with Sydney University and UTS amongst many other schools falling within the council LGA. Particularly when, according to the City of Sydney, the international education sector contributes $1.6 billion dollars to the local economy, and a further $5.8 billion in NSW exports. That’s a billion with a capital B!
The truth is that international students are a key part of what makes Sydney vibrant, alive and the City of Sydney, amongst other local and state government bodies, need to do everything that we can to ensure that the 35 000 students that are studying here have employment, accommodation and well-being opportunities. Truth be told, I’ve employed many international students over my business career.
If you are reading this and you are an international student, check out this guide put together by the City of Sydney on how to make your temporary stay in Sydney the best it can be.
Also, here’s a pretty naff video of our world class city, I promise that the city is much cooler than that!
Thanks for having me open the forum and introduce the guests, and thank you for the awesome work that you do!