The Australian Education Fair 2016 was organised to provide students with the opportunity to meet representatives from 21 top Australian universities and colleges, and explore education and financial solutions. Australian education has become an extremely popular option for Sri Lankan students, especially due to the extensive range of education programmes. At the fair, students were able to meet representatives of Macquarie University, Deakin University, Edith Cowan University, La Trobe University, University of Tasmania, University of Wollongong, Perth Institute of Business and Technology (PIBT), Griffith University, James Cook University, University of Sydney, Flinders University, International College of Hotel Management – Australia (ICHM), Melbourne Institute of Technology, Le Cordon Bleu Australia, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Sydney Institute of Business and Technology (SIBT) and University of South Australia. Colleges such as Deakin College, La Trobe Melbourne, Eynesbury Senior College, and UOW College, which offer pathways to leading Australian universities, were also present.
Accordingly, students, including those who have completed their Ordinary Levels, were able to apply to follow undergraduate courses, as the universities had introduced pathways, which include either a foundation programme or diploma.
Postgraduate courses, including diplomas, master’s degrees and PhD studies in all streams, were also made available for Sri Lankan students.
An on-the-spot admission facility was provided so that students could lodge their applications for the 2016 intake with guidance, thereby reducing application and processing time and in certain circumstances students even had the application fee waived. Meanwhile, the International College of Hotel Management says it takes into account Sri Lankan hotel management programmes and provides 485 Post Study Work Visa eligibility for ICHM bachelor graduates with two years study.
Universities and colleges also provided scholarships ranging from 25 to 100 per cent, based on the academic and extra-curricular achievements of students. The University of Sydney, for example, provides Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarships of up to AUD 40,000 which are awarded based on academic merit. Moreover, the University of Tasmania, among the top two per cent of the world’s universities, promises the most cost-effective study options in Australia.
In addition, students were able to consult with one of seven banks on financial solutions, as at the fair, banks provided an exclusive interest rate and even guarantee a 48-hour loan approval. Furthermore, an experienced panel of Australian education experts was onsite to offer guidance including on document preparation and visa application. IELTS is necessary for students seeking to study in Australia; therefore, ANC also provided free IELTS examination preparation classes for every student who registered through the fair.