Flinders International pulled out all the stops for the StudyAdelaide ‘Mega Famil’ as guests decamped from the city and toured the facilities and grounds of Bedford Park, Sturt and Tonsley.
Split over two sessions on 8 and 13 May, the event saw over 80 agents get a taste of the Flinders experience in an unprecedented international recruitment collaboration that engaged all of the University’s Colleges, covering a total of 14 different study areas.
The agents represented Flinders’ key international markets including China, India, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and many other countries.
StudyAdelaide Chief Executive Karyn Kent says the 2019 Mega Famil is the biggest showcase StudyAdelaide has ever undertaken.
“Once education agents see Adelaide for themselves, they become strong promoters for our State. Working with our education partners we’ve created an impressive two week experience, highlighting Adelaide’s education and lifestyle offering as well as profiling South Australia’s growth industries,” she says.
A government and industry-supported organisation, StudyAdelaide promotes South Australia as an education destination. Its annual Mega Famil hosts a large delegation of education agents to participate in a showcase of the state’s world-class education. The major event aims to send agents home as powerful advocates and influencers for South Australia and the universities visited.
The first frosty morning saw over 50 agents from North and South Asia assemble at Tonsley, where they were welcomed by Director of International Recruitment Matt Schultz.
To kick-off the day, Flinders Creative Arts (Screen) Hons graduate James Khou presented on his filming work and experience as a Flinders student, in the first of several activities designed to highlight academic areas through personal accounts and hands-on experiences.
“90% of the clips that you’re seeing were filmed during my degree at Flinders. Assignments are also the films that we end up making,” Mr Khou said of the show reel. “There are three things you need to succeed on a shoot: gear, time and support – and Flinders really delivered all of those.”
It was the placement opportunities that his Flinders degree offered that stood out for Mr Khou.
“The placements in the third year are such an important aspect of the degree – you can reach out and find those yourself or the staff are more than happy to help facilitate and support. I got to work on a really big film in my placement, and it was a fantastic opportunity to get started as a practice-based person, prepared for anything.”
He finished by delivering a quick, practical workshop on how to achieve perfect lighting for phone photography.
The day charged on, with a presentation from the College of Business, Government and Law with Associate Lecturer Dr Naser Pourazad, on ‘Social Media and its Applications’.
It was then back out to the crisp air ahead of a tour of engineering labs and IT facilities, where Civil Engineering student Henry Zhang demonstrated a recent hydrology experiment, and the agents had the chance to control the hexapod robot.
A well-deserved lunch followed with an introduction to the New Venture Institute, before the agents bussed to Sturt for an Exercise, Health, and Nutrition session. Finally, a walking tour of Bedford Park, with drinks and canapes as dusk settled.
A busy and information-packed day was topped off with talks by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling, and Vice-President (Corporate Services) Mark Gregory, who were delighted to share the University’s plans for the future.
“These plans complement our significant investments in research and teaching, which together will ensure we achieve our vision to be a world leader in research, an innovator in contemporary education and the source of Australia’s most enterprising graduates,” Professor Stirling said.
The tours culminated with dinner in the beautiful surrounds of Alere, overlooking an Adelaide sunset.
Mr Schultz says the initiative was a successful showcase of all that Flinders University has to offer, ensuring the guests gained an authentic experience of what studying at the University would be like.
“One of the things we really wanted the agents to walk away with is that Flinders experience.”
Mr Schultz emphasised the importance of ensuring the agents would be stronger advocates for Flinders in the future.
“I think they would have discovered that we are a high-quality university and have passionate and well-qualified staff. Our people win teaching awards, they do outstanding research. And in that context, it means really good outcomes for students who come and study at the university,” Mr Schultz says.
Educating international students is one of South Australia’s fastest growing industries, and education is now the State’s second largest export industry – contributing $1.62 billion to the South Australian economy (ABS, 2018).