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World Class winners: students showcase the power of study abroad

A Parisian rap and an exchange from the Blue Mountains to Osaka have won a $10,000 student film competition to promote the life-changing experience of studying abroad as part of a university degree.

University of Melbourne student Alexei Ymer-Welsby and Western Sydney University alumni Ruth Harrison last night won the two top prizes of a $10,000 voucher from STA Travel for their outstanding short films highlighting how a university exchange can expand a student's horizons for life.

The winners were announced at a dinner to preview today's Student Mobility in the Asia Pacific Symposium, run by Universities Australia.

The symposium brings together representatives from across the region to discuss current trends in student exchanges and opportunities for further collaboration with our nearest neighbours.

More than 100 people are at the event in Melbourne to discuss student attitudes to studying abroad, strategies to keep growing the exchange of students within the Asia Pacific, and business and industry engagement with mobility programs.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said both the film competition and the symposium highlighted the life-changing experience of study abroad within an Australian degree.

"Over the last decade there's been significant growth in the number of Australian students studying abroad as part of their degrees," she said.

"This is a really important trend for the students personally - many of whom will forge lifelong professional networks and friendships with classmates in other parts of the world as a precursor to building truly global careers - and for Australia's relationships with the world."

Speakers at today's symposium include Mr Will Archer, Chief Executive, i-Graduate; The Hon Phil Honeywood, Chief Executive, IEAA; Dr Davina Potts, Associate Director Student Mobility, The University of Melbourne; Mr Rob Lawrence, Principal, Prospect Research and Marketing; Ms Michiko Suzuki, Executive Director, Japan Student Services Organisation (JASSO); and Dr Jessica Loh, Director, Outreach & Marketing Institute of International Education (IIE) Southeast Asia.

Ms Wendy Holdenson, Director and Executive Vice-President of Mitsui & Co. Australia, delivered the keynote address last night on the role of outbound mobility in developing cultural competencies and the value it has for business and employers.

The event is part of Universities Australia's World Class strategy, administered on behalf of the Australia Government Department of Education and Training over the last three years. The program promotes overseas study to Australian students.

The Show&Tell short film competition is an initiative of World Class. The two winners each received a $10,000 STA travel voucher, with runners up receiving a $2,500 STA travel voucher.

The winning entries can be found on the World Class website and will be distributed to universities shortly.

Universities Australia Media Contacts

Misha Schubert
02 6285 8133
Mobile: 0421 612 351

Patrick Pantano
Ph: 02 6285 8123 

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