Study Melbourne Hub KL to boost international ties via education

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by BERNAMA

THE Study Melbourne Hub Kuala Lumpur (KL), launched yesterday, aims to strengthen the relationship between Australian and Malaysian students, academics and researchers, as well as link the two countries in the global education sector.

The hub is part of the Victorian government’s initiative to establish a network of study hubs around the world, boosting Victoria’s connections with overseas students, future students and alumni, as well as promoting Victoria’s leadership in edtech and innovation.

The hub will support international students currently studying online with Victorian education institutions by providing a shared and physical location for students to connect and engage with one another, whereas prospective students will be able to access support and information on the variety of professional and lifestyle benefits of studying with a Victorian education provider.

Industry stakeholders will also be able to utilise the hub to organise and hold events ranging from student engagement activities, networking and social events, alumni-focused activities, research collaboration and industry engagement, especially as remote learning becomes the norm in the pandemic era.

“The establishment of this and similar hubs all over the world is a laudable effort to introduce innovation in the way we deliver education and educational solutions,” Deputy Minister of National Unity Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (picture) said.

“At the same time, it is in line with Malaysia’s effort to place itself as the region’s education destination of choice, as well as to improve Malaysia’s own interconnectivity with the rest of the world’s education ecosystem.”

He added that the hub is a testament to the importance the Victorian government places on Malaysia as an important source of its international student market, as it shows the commitment of the state government to the Malaysian students who are studying in Victoria.

Also present during the launch yesterday were Global Victoria CEO Gönül Serbest, the Commissioner to South-East Asia Rebecca Hall and the Deputy Head of Mission to Malaysia Hannah Birdsey.

Serbest announced that 15 Malaysian students had received a prestigious Career Catalyst scholarship worth A$5,000 (RM15,150), providing the opportunity to undertake job readiness training and a three-month supported virtual internship with a Victorian company.

“We are so pleased to provide this innovative space that will enhance students’ remote learning experiences and ensure our students and alumni in Malaysia stay connected to their education providers and to Victoria,” Serbest said.

“The Study Melbourne hub create meaningful partnership opportunities by bringing together edtech companies, investors, researchers and education providers searching for new, high-quality edtech solutions,” she added.

Meanwhile, Hall highlighted the significant contribution of Malaysian students to the Victorian economy and said that the hub “will provide a collaborative physical space for students to engage with one another, their educational institution, and gain access to Study Melbourne programmes”.

International education is a critical service export and job provider in Victoria that contributed A$13.7 billion to the Victorian economy and supported around 79,000 Victorian jobs before the pandemic.

Victoria is the only Australian state or territory to provide its international students with offshore study hubs — the inaugural Study Melbourne Hub Shanghai was launched in April 2021, and another hub is scheduled to open in Ho Chi Minh City next month.