Tuesday, 23 April 2024

StudyAdelaide Student Ambassador Program, Qingdao, China

It’s a great pleasure to be back in Qingdao.

As Jane mentioned, I have a deep connection with China built over many years and including having been Australia’s Ambassador to China.

It is wonderful now to return as Governor of South Australia to support the linkages and long-lasting people-to-people connections formed between Adelaide and Qingdao as sister-cities and South Australia and Shandong as sister-provinces.

Education has historically played a vital role in building Australia’s connection to our regional neighbours.

Young people come to Australia to study; they make friends; they return to their countries; they become successful leaders, and businesspeople; but they retain and build on the friendships and connections they made as students.

So it is with China, and so it is with Shandong, so it is with Qingdao.

For this reason, I am proud to be supporting the initiatives of the South Australian government and South Australia’s world-class education system.

South Australia has a vibrant international education sector, with international students from over 130 nationalities studying in Adelaide.

Adelaide is a vibrant and multicultural city that values the diversity that students from Jinan bring to our city, to our classrooms, and to our workplaces.

And students in turn, benefit from the education and experience that only Adelaide can offer.

South Australia’s education landscape is undergoing an exciting process of transformation.

A new university - Adelaide University is being formed by combining the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, my alma mater.

This new University will be a member of the elite Group of Eight universities.

It will start teaching in 2026 and aspires to be ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide.

The curriculum will be contemporary and informed by industry.

Work-integrated learning will be embedded in in its courses.

In research, it will become known for its leadership across disciplines including science and technology, health, humanities and business.

Another of our universities, Flinders University, opened a new city campus in January this year, in the centre of the city, right across the road from government House where I live.

Set over eight levels in a new high-rise building, the collaborative, state-of-the-art learning areas and open-plan event spaces deliver an optimal learning experience.

More broadly, South Australia’s economy is also in a process of transformation, gaining momentum in industries such as health, renewable energy, space, agriculture, and critical technologies.

Chinese students will benefit from the growth we are cultivating in these globally relevant and future-facing industries, many of which align with growing industries in China.

In Adelaide, we aim to bring a student closer to career success by close links with these industries.

We achieve this through the access we provide to industry leaders, and through our innovation precincts at Lot Fourteen, Tonsley Innovation District and Adelaide BioMed City – home to multinational companies, all located minutes from the campuses of our universities.

This proximity is more than just a convenience – it enables students to gain experience and exposure to global companies during their studies, including through work placements.

Students graduate with globally recognised qualifications and valuable industry experience, a powerful combination.

Of course, education is not only about study. It is about life experience.

During their time in Adelaide, students are supported to create lifelong networks with their peers, as well as connections with businesses and industry.

As patron of StudyAdelaide, I observe firsthand the genuine commitment from the South Australian government and community to support Chinese students during their time living and learning in our city.

I take immense pride in hearing the stories from international alumni, and how their lives and careers have developed since their time in Adelaide - and how the experience of spending time as part of our community has shaped their lives and outlook.

And I am confident that the award winners to be announced today will have a similar experience when they travel to Adelaide later this year.

The South Australian international education sector is exceptional. The level of passion, care and authenticity is as strong as the quality of the education itself.

Thank you for your attendance today and to the students in the audience, I look forward to meeting many of you in Adelaide at the events I hold in the gardens at my residence which are open to all international students.

Thank you.

Coming events