The study hubs, which will be in Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City, were announced as part of the Victorian Labor government’s $33.4 million International Education Short Term Recovery Plan.
“Our study hubs are a great way to spread the message about the opportunities that exist in Victoria”
Study Melbourne has also received additional funding provided in the Victorian Budget 2021/22.
It said upon the announcement that Victoria is a “popular study destination for students from Vietnam and Malaysia” – almost 9,000 Vietnamese students and over 7,500 Malaysia students are currently enrolled in Victoria institutions.
Around 25% of these students, however, are currently offshore – the first of these offshore students are expected to return to the region from December 1.
Kuala Lumpur’s location opened on November 23, while Ho Chi Minh City’s opens on December 1.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming back students from Vietnam, Malaysia and elsewhere, and our study hubs are a great way to spread the message about the opportunities that exist in Victoria,” said minister for Trade Martin Pakula.
The aim of the study hubs is to provide “networking events and activities” for prospective students, as well as open up access to support services and programs, while offering as much information as possible on Melbourne and Victorian higher education institutions.
Critically, it will provide current international students who are offshore with “support and study facilities”.
Victoria’s commissioner to South East Asia Rebecca Hall, said, “The Study Melbourne Hub Kuala Lumpur will provide a collaborative physical space for students to engage with one another, their education institution, and gain access to Study Melbourne programs.”
With the opening of the two facilities, Victoria becomes the only Australian state or territory to provide its international students with offshore study hubs – Shanghai, its inaugural hub, launched in April, and a virtual hub is also open in India.
“We are so pleased to provide this innovative space that will enhance students’ remote learning experience and ensure our students and alumni in Malaysia stay connected to their education providers and to Victoria,” said CEO of Global Victoria Gönül Serbest.
Another core focus of the Study Hubs is shining a light on edtech. The hubs are designed to “bring together edtech companies” so they can secure trade, investment and partnership opportunities in the industry.
Study Melbourne also hopes the hub will secure other interest from investors, researchers and education providers in the search for “new high-quality edtech solutions for the South East Asia region”.
“The hubs will also help Victorian companies make connections”
“We’re a leader in edtech and the hubs will also help Victorian companies make connections in markets that have increasing demand for high-quality edtech solutions,” Pakula added.
According to the announcement, the hubs will grow Study Melbourne’s international footprint and help “rebuild and revitalise the international education market”.
It comes after international education contributed $13.7bn to Victoria’s economy, supporting around 79,000 jobs in the region prior to the Covid pandemic.
The University of Auckland, LightPath and UP Education also initiated a study hub in Vietnam earlier this year.