Australia & New Zealand Business Report 2017

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Discovery Reports

Australia Institute of Business & Technology has global ambitions

Institute’s flexible approach to professional vocational training and hi-tech academic pathway programmes has made a mark since its inception in 2015

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 5:15pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 5:15pm

Renowned for its world-class education and cultural diversity, Australia is fast becoming the preferred study abroad destination.

In some countries, Australia is easily the better choice as living expenses and study costs in the Land Down Under are considerably lower than other major study destinations such as the United States and Britain.

With four out of the 10 most liveable cities in the world, this English-speaking country in the Pacific Rim is also celebrated for its sophisticated and harmonious society in which students can learn and travel freely.

Last year, the number of foreign students in Australia reached a record high, with 554,179 full-fee paying international students from more than 200 different countries, according to figures from the country’s Department of Education and Training.

Accounting for about 26 per cent of international student enrolments is Australia’s vocational education sector, which is recognised as one of the best and most innovative in the world.

In this flourishing segment, a young and vibrant company is strengthening Australia’s draw to international students who are seeking to develop skills relevant to a field of specialisation.

In two short years since its inception in 2015, Australia Institute of Business & Technology (AIBT) is making a mark with its flexible approach to professional vocational training and hi-tech academic pathway programmes, notably its drone piloting and aviation management courses that are offered in partnership with Ace Aviation.

“We started as a small training organisation offering hospitality and business courses, and then we realised that we do not want to be just another professional college. To differentiate ourselves in the vocational space, we set our focus on recruiting more international students,” says Fiona Kee, AIBT’s managing director. “2017 will be a year of expansion for us as AIBT becomes more global and continues its growth in the international student market.”

Moulding tomorrow’s leaders through enriching and flexible study

Headquartered in sunny Brisbane, AIBT is a private institute that offers plenty of study choices with certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas and graduate diplomas that are appealing to domestic and international students.

With the goal of instilling 21st century skills that will increase the employability of its graduates in a more globalised world, AIBT has developed a more international curriculum, comprising nearly 90 study programmes in various disciplines including business, commerce, hospitality, electrical and mechanical trades, nursing, and information technology.

AIBT, however, is becoming better known for its specialised and hands-on trade courses that are aligned with current industry needs and demands such as aviation, ageing care, fashion technology, Asian cookery and patisserie, air conditioning and refrigeration engineering, and English language and International English Language Testing System preparation.

“We are at the forefront of bringing vocational education at par with higher education in terms of career outcomes,” Kee says. “Our students are given a stimulating learning environment and practical training to fulfil their personal, academic and career aspirations.”

With a world-class faculty and its dedication to affordability, AIBT offers an educational experience that makes a real difference. Its accredited courses are delivered in a traditional classroom setting and online.

Using hi-tech virtual classrooms, online students can attend AIBT’s real-time classes anywhere across the globe. Flexible learning options are provided so that students can learn at their own pace and in an environment that best suits their individual learning style. AIBT can also customise its courses to meet the requirements of a particular enterprise, specific job skill or ability of the student.

“We thrive on flexibility,” Kee says. “We tailor our study programmes considering the unique needs of our students and working professionals as they transition towards new careers.”

AIBT has two main campuses in Australia located in Brisbane and Sydney. It further expanded these main campuses, and has since started operating in the region of Tasmania. These efforts are in line with AIBT’s plan to increase threefold its operations so as to welcome and train at least 3,000 additional students in the vocational sector in 2017/2018.

AIBT has additional branches in Ghana and Singapore. The Ghana location is a satellite campus set up to offer transnational education to West Africa. Meanwhile, the Singapore site, which was officially opened in February, serves as the AIBT Asia headquarters. AIBT also conducts global workshops at centrally located training facilities in China, India and Africa.

To date, 85 per cent of AIBT’s students are from overseas and 15 per cent are domestic students. Its top three overseas markets are Nepal, India and China, which together make up 70 per cent of its student population. Its strategic goal for the year is to continue to be a market leader in these three countries, while developing new markets across the subcontinent such as in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

AIBT also aims to grow its foothold in Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong and nearby Southeast Asia via strategic partnerships with universities and vocational institutions. Using its transnational education approach, AIBT can set up its classroom within the locations of partner universities, training organisations or private companies, and share its specialised expertise. AIBT likewise intends to build on a collaboration it has with a leading drone manufacturer in Indonesia and hopes to forge similar partnerships in China where the majority of the world’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are manufactured.

Becoming more global with Ace Aviation and Royal Winthrope College

Aviation is the most popular study programme at AIBT. A little over a year after its introduction, the institute has attracted hundreds of international students coming in for drone pilot
training and other aviation management courses. These courses are delivered in collaboration with Ace Aviation, which is AIBT’s preferred training partner for its Certificate 3 and Diploma of Aviation.

“From their origins in the military, drones are finding applications in many different industries, including agriculture, real estate, education and filmmaking,” says Mark Viswa Nathan, CEO of Ace Aviation and AIBT operations director.
“It is a fast-growing market that is opening up a multitude of jobs. We are at a point now where drones are starting to become part of everyday life, taking a similar track as mobile phones 10 to 15 years ago. So we are excited to be involved in an industry that is going to be a huge part of society.”

Consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that the global market for commercial applications of drone technology will skyrocket to US$127 billion by 2020 from an estimated US$2 billion in 2016.

Founded last year to serve this booming sector, Ace Aviation is an innovative and hi-tech aerospace firm that focuses on training domestic and international students who aspire to become qualified drone pilots and aviation management specialists.

Apart from hands-on pilot training, Ace Aviation offers courses in UAV systems engineering, aerial photography and aerial surveying. Another key service that Ace Aviation provides is customised consultancy, through which its expertise in drone technology is utilised to improve processes and efficiencies in many fields including agriculture, environmental impact assessment, law enforcement, and search and rescue.

Ace Aviation is fully licensed by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) as a training provider. After completing UAV training, students are assisted in obtaining their CASA remote pilot licences, which can be used in Australia and are also recognised internationally. One of Ace Aviation’s goals is to spread the world-class guidelines set by CASA to other parts of the world.

“There are hundreds of aviation schools for drones in Australia, but AIBT is the only one that accepts international students,” Kee says. “We underwent the arduous process of registering with the government because we want to represent Australian education in the international stage.”

As part of a strategy to build brand value, AIBT is pushing through with its plans to establish a private higher education institution.

Named Royal Winthrope College, the institution will initially offer bachelor degree programmes in hospitality, management and accountancy, and subsequently offer undergraduate studies in the important fields of aerospace engineering, UAV science and aviation management. AIBT is slated to finalise its registration as a private higher education provider by the end of the year.

“In our every venture, we make sure that we give back to society,” Kee says. “We are focused on making our students job-ready because we want them to make positive contributions to society and become proud members of their communities. AIBT aspires to mould tomorrow’s leaders who are innovative and creative and can help bring progress to their communities.”,