Charles Sturt University vice-chancellor Andrew Vann says he welcomes NSW Government plans to reward international students who study in the country.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has proposed incentives to redirect overseas students to regional NSW to relieve congestion in Sydney.
Ms Berejiklian raised the idea at a Council of Australian Governments meeting in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Professor Vann said students should be encouraged to study in regional NSW, but easing population pressure should not be the driving factor.
“The educational offerings and graduate outcomes offered by regionally based universities are of the highest quality – clearly demonstrated by CSU’s consistent record for the highest graduate employment rates in Australia,” Professor Vann said.
“Students will experience a positive, supportive learning environment, with the opportunity to earn degrees that are created in consultation with industry to ensure they are able to achieve their dreams after university and contribute positively to the community.”
It has been performing better than other regional universities on various performance benchmarks.
The Good Universities Guide 2019 showed almost 85 per cent of CSU graduates found full-time employment – the highest across all universities in Australia.
CSU students were offered a starting salary of $62,000 a year, which is the fourth-highest after the University of Southern Queensland ($63,800), the Northern Territory’s Charles Darwin University ($62,600), CQUniversity ($62,600), based in Central Queensland, and Tasmania University ($62,600).
Professor Vann said regionally-based higher education offers supportive learning, higher teacher-student ratios, and the majority of students get the opportunity to gain industry experience throughout their degree.
CSU doesn’t have a significant number of international students as they prefer to study in universities in Sydney.
It is estimated that of the 400,000 temporary migrants in NSW, 220,000 are international students.
The international education industry is worth $11.3 billion in the state.