USQ spends $1 million on overseas trips

STAFF at the University of Southern Queensland spent nearly $1 million on overseas trips last year, recently released data shows.

A total of $988,894.46 was spent on 435 trips including visits to destinations like Ghana, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Sweden, Japan and India.

Among the most expensive trips was a $19,857 trip by the university's Chancellor John Dornbusch to the Middle East as part of a bid to get the uni's online education recognised by local governments.

A collaborative research effort in Europe on world heritage by senior lecturer in Anthropology and Australian Indigenous Studies Celmara Pocock cost $13,570.

Interim vice-chancellor Janet Verbyla said overseas trips were an important aspect of modern universities.

Professor Verbyla said the trips were related to research collaborations, international marketing and graduation ceremonies.

"The most substantial number of those trips were to do with research."

She said USQ rated at world standard for its research.

"You can't be at world standard in research unless you're going off and talking to people all over the world."

She said the university had found recent success in growing the number of international students on its campuses through international marketing.

Professor Verbyla said the university ensured all overseas trips resulted in new relationships, capacity or business opportunities.

Newly-released data also showed the university spent $879,914 on consultancy fees last year.

Professor Verbyla said much of that work was related to updating the uni's information technology systems.

She said it made more sense to hire consultants to complete work that was only needed intermittently.

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