Charles Darwin University (CDU) is bucking the alarming nationwide trend of foreign students beginning to pull out of Australian universities.
The findings, covered in the national media (The Australian, Monday, 19 January), report an increase in students deferring their studies while forecasting a decline in lucrative international enrolments as prospective students struggle to finance overseas education in the face of a weakening global economy.
CDU’s Manager International Marketing and Recruiting, Fiona Richards said CDU was quickly developing a reputation as a favorable Australian university of choice for international students.
“International student numbers are continuing to increase at CDU and are projected to rise by a further 20 per cent every year over the next four years,” she said.
“A large segment of our international student body is made up of students who have initially enrolled at more established, southern universities only to transfer their studies to CDU,” she said.
Ms Richards identified a number of factors responsible for CDU’s success in the $14.2 billion-a-year overseas student industry.
“Traditionally international students tend to make more identifiable Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne their home,” she said.
“Once there, they tend to struggle in a number of areas such as language barriers, gaining employment, social networks etc, which is partly due to the sheer size of these cities. This, in turn, has a detrimental affect on their studies.
“Darwin truly is a cultural melting pot with pre-established ethnic clubs and networks, tropical climate and an easy going lifestyle which appeals to international students still trying to make the adjustment to an entirely new country and way of life.”