The University has been awarded as the best in Victoria in the student experience and innovation categories at the inaugural Victorian International Education Awards.
Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine announced the awards on Monday in a gala ceremony at Government House.
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar welcomed the awards and said they were evidence of the quality of the international student experience at La Trobe.
‘La Trobe University is increasingly being recognised for the dynamic and multicultural atmosphere of our campuses. La Trobe is a great place to study and to meet students from Australia and from across the world while obtaining a quality education,’ Professor Dewar said.
‘The student experience that flows from our campuses out into our neighbouring communities around Victoria is recognized by the student experience award.’
Professor Dewar said the award for innovation recognised La Trobe’s China Health Program and another of the University’s strengths - developing long term, sustainable partnerships with overseas universities.
‘This program has been running for over ten years and is at the heart of the University’s engagement with China,’ Professor Dewar said.
‘I commend the work of all of the La Trobe staff involved in these and many other international programs across the University.’
La Trobe International Student Services Coordinator, Joanna Shaw (pictured at left, above), accepted the award for Student Experience. She said the University had been proactive in connecting local community organisations with many of its 6000 international students.
‘We have been amazed at the enthusiasm of international students to get involved and get more out of their time here,’ said Ms Shaw.
‘This is particularly pleasing given the language barriers and enormous financial pressures most international students face. They have been so eager to spend some of their time finding out more about Australian life.’
Some of the opportunities for international students have included:
- The Preston Mosque IT Literacy Project, where students teach basic IT skills to older and newly-arrived Muslims;
- The Sunday Lunch Club, where students serve lunch and join in conversations with the elderly; and
- Six Darebin City Council arts and events such as the Festival of Light and Friendship and Carols in All Nations Park.
The Director of the China Health Program, Associate Professor George Liu, said the program had taught more than 1,500 graduates, most of whom were currently holding senior management positions in government, hospitals and other health organisations. The program is delivered in both English and Mandarin and is one of very few courses taught onshore in a language other than English.
‘La Trobe University is tackling some of the big issues of our time and is helping to make a difference to China’s health policy reform and health system development,’ he said.
‘We are thrilled the program had been recognised by the Victorian Government. Our student-centred program is unique in its research-informed teaching approach. Many people have contributed to the design and to the bilingual delivery of the program and my thanks go to them and to the founding directors Dr David Legge and Dr Likun Pei,’ Dr Liu said.
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