Mayor Mark Jamieson today celebrated the return of international students to the Sunshine Coast and Queensland at an official Welcome Back event at the Wharf Mooloolaba.
With interstate and international borders reopening earlier this year students have been welcome to enter the State to commence or resume studying, living and working.
The Mayor was joined by representatives from Trade & Investment Queensland, Study Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast education providers and local and international students at the event.
“Our Sunshine Coast has become a world-class destination where students from around the world come to study, collaborate, connect and excel,” the Mayor said.
“We are providing the home and learning environment to nurture global leaders of tomorrow. In our distinct location you can continue your education and experience something that is not available elsewhere – and that is the unparalleled advantage of being a part of our vision in action – as Australia’s most sustainable region: healthy, smart, creative.
“Sunshine Coast Council is proud to work with Study Queensland to welcome students back to our region and deliver a relevant, exciting, informative study environment that adds exceptional value to your learning experience.
“Our future on the Sunshine Coast is bright, fulfilling and purposeful. Studying on the Sunshine Coast is an opportunity to ensure your future has similar prospects,” the Mayor said.
International education drives significant financial revenue into the Sunshine Coast region as well as students being a critical part of our workforce ecosystem particularly in the tourism, events and hospitality industries.
Prior to the COVID pandemic, data sourced from Deloitte Access Economics* indicates in 2019 international education contributed $180M to the local economy. On the Sunshine Coast in 2019, there were 4,100 international students studying with Sunshine Coast institutions, the majority of which were in higher education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
In 2019, more than 913 international tourists visited an international student studying on the Sunshine Coast. These visiting friends and relatives (VFR) stayed a total of 14,329 visitor nights and contributed more than $2.74 million in tourism expenditure to the local economy. In total, international education contributed $180 million in export revenue and supported 892 jobs in the region.
With international borders opening, it is anticipated that international education will again contribute significantly to the growth of the economy.
Now more than ever, Study Sunshine Coast plays a critical role in destination promotion, delivering initiatives to enhance the student experience, and fostering collaboration between the education, training and tourism sectors and the local innovation ecosystem.
The Sunshine Coast region is one of Queensland’s most desirable locations, offering top-ranking universities and more than 80 public and private schools, vocational education and training, and English-language providers, offering students outstanding study options and exciting career opportunities.
Further strengthening this are a number of world-class training facilities such as the Sunshine Coast Health Institute, the USC High Performance Sports Academy and Sunshine Coast University Hospital. All are expected to flourish with the news that the Sunshine Coast will be one of the host regions for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.