The inaugural Victorian International Education Awards held recently in Melbourne saw Huong Dang Thi from the Box Hill Institute, winning the Premier’s Award - International Student of the Year and topping the International Student of the Year – Higher Education category, while the International Education Provider of the Year award was clinched by RMIT University.
The event, hosted by the governor of Victoria, Alex Chernov and presented by Dr Denis Napthine, premier of Victoria recognised the accomplishments of three international students and nine educational institutions.
“The Victorian government is delighted to honour Huong as Victoria’s International Student of the Year,” Dr Napthine said.
Huong embodies a desire for education that has overcome extreme hardship. With no formal high school education, she found her way to Box Hill Institute’s Know One, Teach One (KOTO) programme in Hanoi.
There she excelled and was offered a scholarship to study in Australia at Box Hill Institute. Huong is now working to complete her second qualification at Box Hill, an Associated Degree of Commerce.
Victoria’s Education Awards are part of a five-year plan, which incorporates increased support for international students in Victoria, as well as providing opportunities for education and cultural exchange opportunities for Victorians overseas.
“Victoria is a global centre for excellence in education, research and innovation – making it the Australian destination of choice for students. Victoria is attracting excellent and dedicated students to world class universities, TAFES, colleges and schools and these awards showcase the dynamic work that is going on in Victoria’s international education sector,” said Tim Dillon, commissioner, Victoria Government Business Office (VGBO).
Today, about one-third of international students in Australia study in Melbourne.
In addition to growing Victoria’s education sector, the VGBO also assists local vocational education and training (VET) providers and institutions of higher learning to set up dual certification programmes in Southeast Asia.
In 2012 international students in Victoria accounted for approximately 150,000 enrolments. Melbourne hosts students from 165 countries, including Vietnam which forms the state’s third largest international student contingent and foremost from Southeast Asia.