AS TOOWOOMBA today celebrates the contribution of its multicultural community for Harmony Day, the University of Southern Queensland can reveal the enormous financial contribution it makes every year to the Queensland economy.
USQ is responsible every year for an estimated injection of $411.7 million into the state economy, according to research conducted by the Regional Universities Network (RUN), of which USQ is a founding member.
Much of the economic boost comes from the University's international students - a fact that has not been overlooked by Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Greg Johnson.
"The addition of 1000 students every year from diverse countries across the globe certainly enriches our community, both culturally and economically," Mr Johnson said.
"It's not often recognised that USQ is indeed a major exporter in the Toowoomba economy by way of offering places for international students."
The RUN report also shows USQ is responsible for $255.4 million in household income and 3313 full-time equivalent jobs across the Toowoomba, Fraser Coast and Springfield communities.
USQ vice-chancellor and president Professor Jan Thomas said USQ made every effort to ensure its international students not only felt at home while in Australia, but also that they were making a worthwhile contribution.
"USQ is at the top of the class in Australia when it comes to providing education and support for international students," the Vice-Chancellor said.
"Our international students tell us time and time again they enjoy USQ's small classroom size, the quality of teaching and courses and the support programs that prepare them for employment."
A recent study conducted by Universities Australia also found that more than 71 per cent of the public and 69% of business representatives were positive about providing education for international students.
"Our international students make an incredibly meaningful contribution to all of our USQ communities so it's important on a day like Harmony Day that we let them know just how important they are," Prof Thomas said.
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