IDP Welcomes the Council of International Students Australia

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IDP has welcomed the launch of the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) by providing seed funding to assist with the establishment of the new peak international student representative body.

The Baird Review and the COAG International Students Strategy Australia highlighted the need for all international students to have visible, effective and high-quality representation on a state and federal level. IDP and CISA recognise this as an opportunity to work together to help ensure the international student experience in Australia is second to none.

2010-11 is the foundation year for CISA. Mr Robert Atcheson, founding president of CISA commented, “It is vitally important during the first year to lay a solid foundation upon which CISA can build its future successes. IDP can assist CISA achieve its initial objectives of creating awareness and visibility of CISA at a national, state and local level, creating State and Territory level Divisions, securing affiliate members and providing a platform for those who have not previously had their own student representative voice.” 

Mr. Atcheson added, “International students studying within the ELICOS, foundation and private college sectors in particular have suffered from the lack of a representative voice for too long. CISA is currently working with each of the peak sector bodies to correct this situation by establishing student organisations which will provide their students with a much needed voice. This will also solidify CISA's position as the peak multi-sectoral representative body for international students in Australia."

Mr Tony Pollock, CEO of IDP welcomed the foundation of CISA. "Now is a critical time for international students to have their voice heard and IDP is very pleased to offer assistance with the founding of CISA," he said.

IDP attended the 2010 conference, as an observer, in Tasmania where CISA was founded and has offered mentoring assistance to the founding board. “It was very gratifying to see the vigorous debate and thorough democratic approach that was taken at the CISA founding conference”, said Ben Holgate, Senior Marketing Manager at IDP. “It will be good to have a representative body with which the sector can hold discussions on issues critical to international students – too often in the past few years the voice of international students has been hi-jacked by vested interests that are not truly representative of the international student body.”

Mr Atcheson said that CISA is a non-politically aligned not-for-profit organization representing the interests of approximately 500,000 international students studying in the postgraduate, undergraduate, VET, TAFE, ELICOS and Foundation sectors in Australia. It was established on 7 July 2010 in Hobart following a two-year consultation period with the Federal Government. 

Further information:

Tim Dodd, External Relations Manager, IDP Education

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