Overseas initiative wins award 


Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) efforts in attracting international students has won the Chief Minister’s award for a service industry.

The award recognises the significant increase in international student numbers by the University’s International office.

Sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank, the award is based on outstanding achievement in service industries such as consultancy, finance, insurance, legal health and community and in-bound tourism.

It is part of the Chief Minister’s Export and Industry Awards, run in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce NT and the International Business Council.

CDU’s international recruitment manager Fiona Richards said 2006 had been a very successful year for attracting student numbers from overseas, and the figures for next year’s intake were also looking very strong.

“But this award is really for a whole of university effort, because we would not be able to attract students if the academic staff were not helping establish our reputation.

“It would be virtually impossible to attract international students if our reputation overseas was not already high, and still on the increase.”

Ms Richards said the top markets for attracting students were China, India, the Philippines and Indonesia. Students were enrolling in CDU courses across the disciplines—from undergraduate level to VET courses and postdoctoral research.

As part of its recruiting campaign staff from the International office regularly visit the target countries and take part in international trade fairs.

About 300 international students are enrolled in CDU courses, many of them having first completed an intensive English-training course offered in partnership with the Australian College of Language (ACL) which is based on the Casuarina campus.

Campus radio station Territory FM sponsored the award for micro to small businesses. It was won by Alice Springs art gallery Mbantua, which specialises in Indigenous art from the central desert.

The award was for any business with total annual sales under $5 million.

CDU graduate Keith Di Dios, who has completed a Master’s degree in engineering management, won the international business student award.

Mr Di Dios, who comes from the Philippines, now works as an engineering management consultant in Darwin.