CONFLUENCE: Maryam Fatima, councillor Judy Peters, Luke Sinclair from CQU and Zain Aslam celebrate the richness of India. Mr Sinclair is keen to see more international students, particularly from China, study in the Rum City.
CONFLUENCE: Maryam Fatima, councillor Judy Peters, Luke Sinclair from CQU and Zain Aslam celebrate the richness of India. Mr Sinclair is keen to see more international students, particularly from China, study in the Rum City. Mike Knott BUN011118IND1

CQUni plan to boost international student numbers

ATTRACTING more international students to Bundaberg could bring a host of economic and flow on benefits, with CQUni working to put plans in motion to seize the opportunity.

With a handful of about 20 international students currently studying in Bundaberg, most of them higher education researchers, CQUni's Associate Vice-Chancellor for Wide Bay Burnett Region Luke Sinclair said it was an area they were keen to expand.

"We'd love to see an increase in the number of international students in our regional centres," he said.

"It's a rewarding opportunity not only for the individual students but all students and the wider and community through cultural awareness."

Mr Sinclair said Bundaberg's Chinese sister city relationship with Nanning provided a great opportunity to build up international student numbers , but there were many factors which needed to be considered to make it a viable prospect.

"Accommodation, the transport infrastructure that's in place in the town and the course options that we've got," he said.

There's a lot to consider when it comes to working out accommodation, but options being floated are ones that could potentially be used for a number of purposes.

"It's about developing a business case that's representative not just of a single uses, it's got to be multi-use," he said.

"It's got to be suitable for students but also potentially the corporate sector, for sporting events and entertainment, and that's been the challenge but we've been in discussions with stakeholders and it's beginning to get some momentum."

Whether accommodation was in the CBD or on campus, Mr Sinclair said providing transport between the two was vital, with a half hourly shuttle between the two one of the options being considered.

"The students want security, they want access to shopping and cafes," he said.

Mr Sinclair said short term plans to boost international study groups included increases the numbers who currently travelled to Bundaberg for short term study tours, but ultimately CQUni wanted to see students study in Bundaberg for a year, or even their entire degree.