Sydney institute opens up whole new world of learning
Insearch Institute of Commerce has opened up a new world of academic options for Hong Kong students hoping to study in Australia.
'The institute was established to provide an opportunity for students who are not currently qualified for direct university entry to undertake programmes which will qualify them for admission to university degree programmes,' Ron Reilly, the institute's academic director and general manager, said.
He said it was wholly owned by the University of Technology, Sydney - one of Australia's biggest and most respected universities.
'I am happy to report that as we enter our eighth year of operation many students have traversed this pathway successfully and have continued their studies in university degree programmes both at the undergraduate and, in some cases, postgraduate level,' Mr Reilly said.
External relations manager Matthew Durie said Hong Kong stu dents comprised the biggest overseas group.
'We've probably got about 350 students from Hong Kong at the moment,' he said. 'The campus is right next to Chinatown and near Darling Harbour, so it's ideal for Hong Kong students. There's a taste of home right on their doorstep.' Mr Durie said the institute suited students who knew what they wanted to study but did not quite meet the university's entry requirements.
'So when they come to the institute, they do an 18-month diploma course. When that is successfully completed, they can go straight into the second year of their chosen course at the university.
'We take students straight from Form 5 so, if they want to avoid doing their A Levels, they can come to the institute and then go straight into the second year of their degree,' he said.
'Otherwise, if you want to get into the university straight from school, you must have completed your A Levels and obtained very good results. But, as long as students pass the institute's diploma course, they are guaranteed entry into the university.' Mr Durie said the quality of the institute's teaching and courses was guaranteed because it was part of the university.
'The students are doing university-level courses: they get to know how to use the library and all its resources. So really, they are very well equipped by the time they start their degree,' he said.
Mr Durie said the cost of courses was 'probably at the higher end of the scale - it's relative to what you would pay for university fees'.
The institute's courses are primarily geared towards business, engineering, communications and information technology. While there is no on-campus accommodation, the institute arranges homestays for around A$150 (about $682) a week, or helps students find shared accommodation.