Article – Hobsons Guide

The Benefits of studying Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Languages in Australia

Located in the hub of the thriving Asia Pacific region, Australia is a country with its finger on the pulse of an ever changing world. It is home to some of the worlds most energetic and cosmopolitan cities, multi-national companies and creative minds and its population of 19 million, multicultural society.

Already offering the universal lifestyle appeal of sun, sand and surfing, Australia can also provide international students with the ultimate educational package. A wide range of courses, low cost of living, affordable fees and high post graduate employment rate are all on offer, in a welcoming and safe environment.

It is no surprise therefore that Australia, with its world class and internationally recognised education system has become a leading study destination and one of the best places in the world to study. Asiaweek’s recent survey of the top universities put Australian at the top of the list, with two universities in the top ten and eight overall in the top fifty. This meant that Australia beat all fifteen of the other countries being surveyed, including Japan and Korea.

The achievements of past graduates are further proof to Australia’s international standing. These include many of today’s great thinkers, leaders and achievers; CEOs of global companies such as Coca Cola and McDonalds, the first Japanese Astronaut and many of Hollywood’s stars.

Looking to follow in their footsteps are the new international students who continue to arrive every year. 244,504 in total enrolled in Australian universities by the end of March 2005, according to the Australian Education International statistics. This was a marked increase of 7% on the previous year. India and China are currently experiencing the highest enrollment growth, at 22% and 42% respectively, followed by South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and the USA.

191,112 of these new students came from across the Asia Pacific region, making Australia appear to be the next educational stepping stone in this part of the world. No doubt the popularity of Australia as a destination is also contributed to by the large existing Asian community that offers international students an important support system, and the availability of cheap airfares home.

In a world of great technological, economic, political and social change, graduates in Arts, Humanities and Social Science can move into any number of careers. These range from journalism and the international media, teaching and education, international relations and politics, music, fine art and arts administration and community and social work.

With a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) students will be able to gain an understanding of how Asian countries relate to each other, as well as to the rest of the world. Through covering topics such as mass media, popular culture, social change and human rights, students have the opportunity to focus on the structure and development of Asia‘s diverse societies and its economic and cultural links with its Asian neighbours. Graduates with an Asia-related academic background will find themselves in great demand by companies recruiting from across the Asian Pacific region.

Likewise a Bachelor of Arts (European Studies), covering contemporary European languages and cultures, will allow graduates to work around the world, within art galleries and museums, community arts and cultural organisations, teaching institutions, new technologies and the media.

In today’s global economy Language degree are seen as a real advantage, opening doors to a wide range of careers and opportunities, from business and media, to international relations. Being able to work in multiple market places will make graduates invaluable to employers around the world, especially in the booming Asian job market.

With China now having the second fastest growing economy and Chinese already the most widely used language in the world, there is great demand for graduates with a good knowledge of both the country and its language. Indonesian and Japanese language degrees are also in demand, for jobs both in the Indonesian and Japaneseand private sector.

European languages, including English, German, French and Italian, are seen as a passport to a wide range of international jobs, including teaching, management and journalism within the European Union. An Australian earned English degree is recognised and accepted throughout the world and can lead to further specialised training in law, psychology, librarianship, industrial relations or theatre and media work.

In the fast paced and globally-connected world we live in today having an international education is seen as extremely advantageous and Australia, in the heart of the Asia Pacific region, can offer a host of benefits and opportunities for students looking to studying Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Language degrees.

When questioned by Hobsons UK about the benefits of employing students who have studied overseas, many companies agreed that this experience proved to be a clear advantage for new graduates looking to join the international workforce. It gives students additional skills, including greater independence and self confidence, the capability to adapt and cope in times of crisis, a broader global perspective and knowledge base and the know how to interact on a professional level across an international and cultural divide.

Retaining the excellent reputation for their educational system is of up most importance to the Australian Government. The Australian International Education Foundation (AIEF), a joint collaboration between the Australian Government and Australian education and training providers works exclusively to internationally promote the high quality and standard of education, training and research opportunities available in Australia. Australia is also party to two treaty-level UNESCO Conventions – the Asia-Pacific Regional Recognition Convention and the Lisbon Recognition Convention, both of which work towards the international recognition of higher education qualifications around the world.

Ensuring strong international appeal and attracting the high number of fee paying international students is also important to all Australian universities. International curricula and research collaborations are constantly being updated and developed and the highest caliber of teaching staff are recruited from around the world. There currently exists around 3,900 formal agreements between Australian universities and their overseas counterparts, focusing on student, research and academic links.

Student exchange programmes are also actively encouraged, helped in part by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The AQF structure is a national system of learning pathways linking universities, vocational education and training, and school education. It allows students to move easily from one level of study to the next and from one institution to another, subject to visa requirements.

There are many factors that contribute to the international recognition given to an Australian qualification, including the rising number of students choosing to come to Australia and the willingness of leading international universities to accept graduates from Australian universities for admission to postgraduate studies. But perhaps the greatest affirmation is the high number of graduates who are gaining immediate employment within their chosen field, and going on to achieve successful careers in Australia, throughout Asia and across the rest of the world.


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