It’s known as “the first choice” in Nepal. When it comes to studying abroad, Nepalis prefer a country that’s safe, low in crime, law-abiding, reliable and diverse. In other words, they go for Australia — always.
So when the time came for Shikha Karmacharya, 30, to choose a country to pursue her Master of Professional Accounting, she chose Australia’s University of New England with confidence. “UNE has been ranked as a five-star university,” she shares. “Graduates from this university are successful and have found excellent job opportunities.”
UNE is the only Australian public university awarded the maximum five stars for Overall Experience 15 years in a row by the Good Universities Guide. Recent ratings were awarded for its teaching quality, educational experience, graduate employment, median starting salary, student support and learner engagement.
It was also ranked sixth out of 41 Australian universities in the 2019 QILT Student Experience Survey. The QILT (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching) survey is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, and is the only comprehensive survey of current higher education students in Australia.
Located in the pristine New England region, students like Karmacharya get to experience UNE’s top-ranked educational experience in person. She is immersed in the traditional university experience with the added benefit of small class sizes and great access to lecturers. Residential accommodation options are unique; teaching, research and sporting facilities are modern.
All of the above are within easy walking distance from the city centre of Armidale, where stunning scenery, clean air and lower cost of living make it the ideal halfway point between the bright lights of Sydney and Brisbane.
Look a little closer beyond its seemingly sleepy surface and you’ll find a buzzing urban centre — as you sip world-class coffee, explore its impressive catalogue of galleries, museums, music gigs and theatre performances. Then, taste the local ingredients in its cafes and restaurants, before checking out the rest of its parks, majestic waterfalls and plenty of walking trails. The country air is crisp, the tranquility palpable.
With several specialty grocers serving the multicultural local community, international students have all they need to recreate the flavours of home. A local Nepalese/Indian supermarket, for example, sells fresh “jelebis,” dosa rice, string hopper flour, roasted rava semolina, and many more.
Expert online education
When the pandemic struck Australia last year, UNE was ready. After all, as a pioneer of distance education, it’s had a lifetime’s experience in knowing what works and what doesn’t. Most of its over 150 courses are available online — and it’s been perfecting them ever since the 1950s.
At UNE, learning online is more than just being online. Karmacharya found her “Introductory Accounting” module, taught online, her “best experience” so far. “I loved and enjoyed her workshop lectures,” she shares. “It was always exciting.” Karmacharya scored 92 for this unit.
Support sprung up to students who needed it. “We are grateful to UNE as it provided free accommodation for us during COVID-19’s peak,” Karmacharya explains. “Special mention should be made of the food hampers and food pantries provided by UNE too. They were a boon for us.”
Sushma Tandukar would know. She graduated with a UNE master’s degree, conducted partially online, during a pandemic. For Tandukar, the odds were many in a year unlike any other, but the University of New England graduate would not have her nursing programmeany other way.
She had the best of both worlds: online and face-to-face learning. This meant she could live in Taree and access UNE Taree — with all the assistance it offers — at the same time. “I did use the Taree UNE Study Centre. This study centre has helped me a lot for doing my assignments and also for my online exams,” she explains.
More importantly, she had help — a lot of it and all the way — from UNE’s greatest asset: its people. On campus, she got a lot of guidance from UNE Employability and Careers. “They helped me in preparing my resume and they also make students up to date with the new grad position available which is very helpful for the students,” she explains.
Online, staff were proactive in when students had to convert to mixed mode learning. Today, the graduate has successfully gained employment at the Mayo and Forster Private Hospital. “I got an email from UNE Careers regarding the vacancy for a new graduate. UNE played an important role in getting me this new grad position.”
From start to graduation and beyond, the UNE experience brings forth the finest in Australian higher education’s people, place and product. To learn more about why you should choose one of Australia’s most respected universities, click here.
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