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Challenge to attract more international students

The QLD Government launched the inaugural Student Innovation Challenge promoting entrepreneurial thinking as one of the skill sets international students can acquire by studying in Queensland.

QLD Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the gen[in] Student Innovation Challenge is a competition for students aged 14 to 21, backed by the government’s International Education and Training Partnership Fund and a consortium of local universities, colleges and businesses.

Ms Enoch said the gen[in] challenge – which will build student’s entrepreneurial skills and improve the study experience for international students – is a drawcard in a broader program designed to out-compete other states and promote Queensland as the nation’s leading study destination.

“International education and training is a big growth sector, already worth $3.25 billion to the state’s economy,” Ms Enoch said.

“We want Queensland to increase its market share and continue being a popular study destination.

“The QLD Government is a strong supporter of programs and competitions that lay the foundations for entrepreneurship and honour excellence in education and training.”

The statewide gen[in] challenge takes place over three rounds where student-led teams, comprising both local and international students, develop a mini business plan and a 60-second video pitch about their innovation, before the event concludes with a hackathon.

“Regardless of who wins, all participants will walk away with new skills, networks and friends, and an entrepreneurial mindset that will help these young men and women become job creators rather than simply job applicants,” Ms Enoch said.

Queensland Student Innovation and Entrepreneur Alliance (QSIEA) Executive Director and Principal of Indooroopilly State High School (ISHS) Lois O’Reilly said her school strongly supports and nurtures young forward-thinkers.

“We encourage diversity in learning and an international outlook,” Mrs O’Reilly said.

“As the lead of the gen[in], Shapin, Indooroopilly State High School will be able to support young Queenslanders in government, Catholic and independent schools, as well as universities and TAFEs, to become the wealth creators and social innovators of tomorrow.

“The gen[in] Student Innovation Challenge will facilitate the creation of meaningful, lifelong connections between domestic and international students and mentors through access to one-of-a-kind experiences.

“These connections will last well beyond the challenge itself, making Queensland a destination of choice for international study and business.”

Record numbers of international students are studying in Queensland universities, colleges and schools. In 2016, Queensland international student enrolments grew eight per cent to 111,500 student enrolments. More than a third were studying in centres outside Brisbane.

The students were from more than 150 different countries, with China, India, Brazil, South Korea and Taiwan being the top five locations of origin.

Source: QLD Government

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