Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Newcastle announces international student ambassador plan

City of Newcastle Council has announced an International Student Ambassador initiative developed with the University of Newcastle (UoN) to help cultivate a culture of belonging for global students living and studying in the city.

More than 1,200 newly arrived international students and their families were officially welcomed to the city by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes yesterday.

The Lord Mayor said international students enhanced Newcastle’s global reputation in education and were an asset to the city’s cultural fabric.

“City of Newcastle is partnering with University of Newcastle to help forge meaningful relationships with international students and set up the foundations for a life-long network of cultural exchange and collaboration,” she said.

“We welcome international students’ skills, knowledge, diversity of experience and cultural expression that actively contributes to the economic opportunities and the richness of our city.

“Investing in people and enabling them to grow is one of the best ways that local government can drive the local economy, and we aim to double international student arrivals by 2030, as outlined in CN’s Economic Development Strategy.”

She said the Strategy is built on addressing skills gaps in collaboration with the University of Newcastle, TAFE, and secondary schools.

“Students are presented with opportunities to grow their skills and acquire the knowledge needed to participate in emerging economic opportunities that will come as the city and region transitions to renewable energy technology, biomedical innovation and aerospace manufacturing.”

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky said international students were an important part of campus life.

“We’re delighted to be welcoming our international students to the city and our campuses. The pandemic made it difficult with online and remote learning. We missed all of our students, but we’re so pleased to have them back,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“This year, we have welcomed our University’s largest cohort of commencing international students ever. They have helped bring our campuses to life with activity and have contributed to the culture and diversity of our communities.

“We are working with City of Newcastle to ensure that international students experience the best our city can offer. Our new International Student Ambassador roles initiative is one of the ways we’re helping to ensure students get the opportunities to build meaningful connections and succeed in our region.”

At Thursday’s event, students were given the opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent through a collaborative artwork piece titled ‘All cultures weave’, providing a vivid representation of the rich cultural tapestry they bring to the city. The collaborative weaving artwork activity speaks to all cultures and will be installed within University of Newcastle’s NUSpace building, Lord Mayor Nelmes said.

Expressions of interest for the new International Student Ambassador roles will open mid-2023.

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