Sydney named top global city for international students

by Ray Clancy on May 1, 2014

in Australia, Education in Australia

Sydney has been named as the most popular city in the world for international university students, beating other major locations like London, Paris and New York.

The Australian city comes top in a global cities index published by global consultants A.T. Kearney, and official government figures back this up, showing that Sydney is home to an estimated 50,000 international students at universities and another 50,000 studying vocational and English courses.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney gains economically, culturally and socially from having a diverse community with such strong links to the rest of the world.

Sydney is home to an estimated 100,000 international students

Sydney is home to an estimated 100,000 international students

“Our community of international students improves the city’s prosperity and liveability. Being the world’s most popular destination for international students helps build Sydney’s cultural diversity and strengthen[s] our regional and global connections,” she explained.

“The international student community contributes over $1.6 billion to the city’s economy and generates demand for 10,000 full time equivalent jobs. To be a competitive global city, we need a strong education and research sector. Sydney offers first class education, professional experiences, cutting-edge research opportunities, a strong economy and a lifestyle that is unmatched. It is no wonder so many students choose to live here,” she added.

Moore also pointed out that Sydney recognises international students’ significant contribution to Sydney’s global talent hub. The city has extensive programmes to support international student’s experiences, including an official welcome by the Lord Mayor, a dedicated international student resource guide and an International Student Leadership and Ambassador Programme designed to provide work experience, skill development, mentoring and leadership training. The programme currently has 26 participants from 18 countries.

“International students enhance Sydney’s vibrancy and liveability through contributing to our city’s cultural diversity. The international student community also plays an important role to grow and strengthen Sydney’s global connections, today and in the future,” said Susana Ng, manager of Community Development.

Ng added that studying in Australia’s commercial capital also provides students with more job opportunities, as the majority of multinational corporations operating in Australia have based their regional headquarters in Sydney.

Overall, more than 300,000 international students are studying in Australia, according to data from Universities Australia. Most come from China, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Enrolment data also reveals an increase in the number of students from Pakistan, Colombia and the Philippines, with the most recent data published by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship showing that, in the last six months of 2012, there was a 27% growth in higher education student visas granted.

Last year, Paris was identified as the most popular city for international students in the QS Best Student Cities ranking, compiled by the higher education specialist that publishes the annual QS World University Rankings.

In that ranking, Sydney was in fourth place behind London and Singapore, while Melbourne shared the fifth spot with Zurich.

The A.T. Kearney report also shows that Sydney comes 14th in overall global rankings—up two places—with Melbourne coming in at 25th.

 

 

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