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From the Vice Chancellor

Professor David Lloyd Vice Chancellor and President

Over the past month I have spent roughly 60 hours in flight and as many of you would know, that’s when I do some of my best thinking. I mean, once you’ve seen Black Lightning four times and Dumbo begins to pale after the first look, there’s not a whole lot else to do. You can stare out of the window, read a book, go through the paperwork you’ve brought on board or try Dumbo again. So thinking eventually becomes the best option and as you look around at the 300 odd souls who are currently sharing your flight, it doesn’t take long to start thinking about globalisation and how it has blended a new world population, a collaborative culture where people can coexist, work, and learn together despite their genetic or cultural difference.

How could you be an isolationist when there’s so much more to be gained from opening up to the world and letting its opportunities flow? Trading nations like Australia have always understood globalisation. From shipping sheep to the UK in 1900 to educating one in 14 of the world’s foreign students now (along with the rocks and crops that trade experts call iron ore, coal and agricultural products), Australia’s education services are now our number three export, tipping more than $30 billion dollars into the Australian economy. That’s the money hundreds of thousands of international students generate when they come to Australia for their education. They bring vibrancy to our campuses and a ready-made network of possible opportunities for our increasingly internationalised student body who, year after year, graduate from Australia’s universities as sophisticated and capable global citizens. So internationally focused are we that our international outlook has been ranked number one in South Australia, number six in Australia and among the world’s top 50 universities according to the ratings agency, Times Higher Education (THE).

UniSA has always had a global focus going back to 1988 when our predecessor, the South Australian College of Advanced Education (SACAE) accepted our first international students. SACAE offered one of the world’s first Master’s degrees in distance education jointly offered with Deakin University and at one stage after becoming a university in our own right, we were the largest provider in Australia of education programs offered offshore with thousands of courses being taught by our academics throughout Asia.

Now we have nearly 6000 international students studying here in Adelaide with us. They all graduate, as our local students do, with Graduate Qualities baked into their degrees, one of which is to demonstrate international perspectives as a professional and as a citizen.

Very soon we will further extend our reach internationally by offering our online study opportunities to prospective students around the globe. These programs have been a huge success in Australia in the past 18 months and will go live soon to give international students the opportunity to get a degree with us without leaving home.

We have major partnerships with education institutions and governments around the world including a China based joint college with Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT), one of China’s highest ranked universities for civil engineering. We also host a number of internationally focused research efforts with universities around the world.

We made a commitment five years ago to be a globally visible university with international reach and leverage. It’s good for our students, good for our academics and good for our international rankings. It helps bring the best and brightest to study and work here. And for all of our students, international as well as local, we want to enhance their employability and global capability by giving them opportunities both for study and for workplace experience, as well as developing their internationally relevant skills within the curriculum.

We’re contributing to a new global society that will eventually overcome all those differences in culture, language, religions and other differences that used to separate us. That is, after all, what education is really all about.

Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President