CQUni is still a strong force
UNIVERSITY student Seokyung Cho had a world to choose from and ended up at Rockhampton.
The Bachelor of Arts student last week said when she was looking for an English-speaking country to complete her studies, Australia, and more particularly CQUniversity, ticked the boxes.
Even though it's not cheap.
Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a dramatic drop in international students has slashed more than $3 billion in revenue from the nation's biggest export service industry in a year, The Australian reported last week.
The paper reported education exports crashed to $13.9 billion last year from $17.2 billion in 2010 as the high value of the Australian dollar hurt the industry.
But, CQUniversity - Rockhampton's biggest employer - has handled the drop far better than its competitors.
The university's international student numbers, across all campuses, currently sit around 4400, down about 80 enrolments compared to this time last year.
"It's expensive, especially for overseas students," said Seokyung, one of 190 international students in Rockhampton.
She said she had the chance to study in the US, but the qualification wasn't as strong.
CQUniversity's International Education Research Centre director, Associate Professor Alison Owens, said the university had performed strongly and, despite the not-so-bright outlook, was well positioned.
Assoc Prof Owens said the small drop in international numbers had been offset by the recruitment of domestic students to the previously internationally-focused metropolitan campuses.
"Actually, CQUniversity is tracking quite well in relation to the rest of the sector in terms of continuation of international student numbers," Assoc Prof Owens said.
"I think the university's international student enrolments are strongly derived from word of mouth."
She said the university's early emergence in the international market, in the mid-1990s, and strong emphasis on student support services, had enabled it to develop a good reputation.
"When they go to the big universities, international students quite often say they just feel like a number," Assoc Prof Owens said.
While acknowledging the university's reliance on international students remained "a little heavy", she said it had moved towards a more diverse model.
She said the university's proposed merger with CQ TAFE "certainly wasn't going to do any harm" with the potential to open more doors for international students, particularly in light of the growth in overseas students selecting VET programs.