Overseas students an investment in SA future

Friday, 8 August 2003

A new friendship program to link overseas students who are studying in Adelaide with South Australian communities was launched today (Friday) by Further Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith.

The link program reflects the value of international students to the State's economic and social future, the Minister said.

"While there has been recent inward looking criticism of the benefits of overseas students to our State, the facts speak for themselves - more than 8,500 students coming here annually generate around $250 million to the State's economy," Minister Lomax-Smith said.

The Minister was commenting on her launch today of the new Link Program, a joint initiative between the Multicultural Communities Council of SA (MCCSA) and Education Adelaide, at the Multicultural Centre 113 Gilbert St at 5pm.

The 'fun and friendship' program offers regular weekend activities for overseas students to help overcome their homesickness and accelerate their transition to studying and living in Adelaide.

"The long term benefit of building relationships between international students and families and communities in Adelaide cannot be measured in dollars alone," Minister Lomax-Smith said.

"In a global village, we must strengthen our links with individuals who will be the future professionals and leaders in industry, government and community in countries around the world."

The Minister said the new program would complement the support provided by schools, universities and TAFE institutes, which were successfully enrolling full fee paying international students, with the total enrolments having increased by more than 14 percent this year compared to 2002.

Students will have opportunities to meet and socialise with people from local communities, participate in weekend activities and find out more about Adelaide and surrounds. Activities will include social, cultural, sporting, recreational and the performing arts.

The Minister said MCCSA, the peak community-based organisation representing people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds was ideally placed to help link international students with local communities.

Education Adelaide Board Chair Ms Paula Nagel said that anything SA can do as a community to help reduce the isolation of young visitors can produce nothing but good in terms of developing South Australia's international student industry.

Education Adelaide was set up to support the rapid expansion of South Australia's education services exports by promoting the State internationally as an education destination.

For more information, call
Patrick Markwick-Smith, Education Adelaide CEO Telephone: +61 8 8410 1311 or 0408 849 783

Vivien Hope, MCCSA Executive Officer Telephone: +61 8 8410 0300


Contact Details

Patrick Markwick-Smith
Education Adelaide CEO
Business: +61 8 8410 1311
Mobile: 0408 849 783

Vivien Hope
MCCSA Executive Officer
Business: +61 8 8410 0300