Six decades on and
UNSW still attracts the best and brightest international students
In 1949, the first international student entered the gates of the
University of New South Wales (UNSW). More than sixty years on, it
remains the university of choice for many.
Indonesian-born Dr Alex
Soeriyadi was initially drawn to UNSW as a high school student. It was
the University’s impressive academic reputation as well as the diversity
of its student population that attracted him.
Alex completed a
foundation program in Jakarta, giving him the necessary entry
qualification to a Bachelor of Engineering and Industrial Chemistry,
which led to a PhD in polymer chemistry. During his studies he completed
industrial traineeships at Tooheys Brewery and BlueScope Steel, which is
supporting his PhD project along with the Australian Research Council.
His mentor at BlueScope
Steel, Phil Barker, says Alex is considered one of the best and
brightest in his field. His experience at the University has been so
positive that both his younger sisters have now joined him to study
Twenty-four year old Anastasia is starting a PhD in photovoltaics and
Angela, 21, is an honours student in biotechnology. They are all living
together in an apartment in Randwick, a short distance from Sydney’s
beautiful eastern beaches.
“It’s not just the
research excellence at UNSW that has attracted my family, it’s the
environment in which you do the research, the ability to do work
experience and the multicultural feel of the University,” he says.
university with a world-wide focus
UNSW welcomed its first international students in 1952 under the Colombo
Plan, an initiative designed to up-skill the Asia-Pacific region. Since
then the University has grown from a collection of makeshift classrooms
and dormitories to a modern, vibrant campus attracting more than 13,000
international students from 120 countries.
“Our numbers have grown
from strength to strength in the last 60 years. Today’s international
students and their parents are very savvy – they can research the
options easily and they are drawn to UNSW because it is recognised for
excellence in a variety of ranking systems around the world,” says
Aleksandr Voninski, Executive Director, UNSW International.
UNSW ranked in the top 100
in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the 2012 QS
World University Rankings put UNSW at 52 in the world out of 700
universities, based on its academic and employer reputation,
staff-student ratios, research citations and the proportion of
international staff and students. UNSW also scored the maximum five-star
rating for eight key performance indicators in the Good Universities
is also recognised as having the strongest links to industry of any
Australian university. Modelled on MIT and the US and European technical
universities, it is unique in Australia in that it is the only
Australian research-intensive university with a scientific,
technological and professional focus.
It offers flexible study
options across a range of disciplines, more than 200 exchange
destinations worldwide, and an extensive industry experience and careers
program, which has led to UNSW graduates being among the most employable
in the country.
A globally-focused education in a global city
As well as fantastic graduate outcomes, it’s the rich experience of
studying in this part of Sydney – with its modern campus, multicultural
student mix and proximity to Sydney city and the beaches – that draws
many students to UNSW, and leads them to encourage their friends and
families to follow them.
The University is in the
midst of an A$1 billion upgrade of its facilities, including new
state-of-the-art buildings, student accommodation, eating areas and a
renovated library – a hub of academic activity where students bring
their own devices and staff roam and interact directly with library
significant proportion of our early students under the Colombo Plan
returned to work in important positions, so our reputation is very well
received through subsequent generations,” says Mr Voninski.
“Australia is considered a
safe destination, it has strong employment rates and we withstood the
financial crisis well. But it’s also about the experience – with our
fantastic weather students here have access to an outdoor lifestyle and
a wide range of activities beyond the classroom.”