Are you an international student who is considering studying and/or working in Toowoomba? If so, you’ve made a great choice. Located in the middle of the stunning Darling Downs, this charming spot is Australia’s second-largest inland city. It offers its 160,000 residents a host of benefits, including top-tier education providers, a booming economy and stellar affordability. Keen to learn more about the benefits of studying and working in Toowoomba? Here are six to get you started.
Excellent education providers
Toowoomba is a perfect destination for international students. This incredible educational region features a broad range of renowned institutions and course options.
For instance, according to The Good Universities Guide, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) boasts 30 areas of research that are recognised as the world standard or better. The University was also ranked number one in Australia for graduate starting salaries, three years in a row! Whether your passion is in information technology (IT), nursing or performing arts, you can get a high-quality degree in any of these fields from USQ.
If you’re hoping to pursue a vocational education degree, Toowoomba has fantastic opportunities for you as well. TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus boasts modern learning amenities and state-of-the-art training facilities designed to simulate real workplaces. As a student, you’ll gain valuable on-the-job experience while you study. At TAFE Queensland Toowoomba, you can study just about anything, from aged care to horticulture to business to graphic design – the list goes on. These degrees can also act as accessible pathways to higher education. So, if you have dreams of attending university one day, this could be the perfect stepping stone.
The exciting new flight training academy at Wellcamp Airport is a great addition to the learning opportunities offered in Toowoomba. Aviation students can now learn to fly through the Qantas Group Pilot Academy, which has the capacity to train 250 new pilots each year. These pilots will help meet the increasing need for skilled aviators, which is estimated at 800,000 new pilots needed over the next 20 years.
Toowoomba has also invested in the Wellcamp Business Park, a self-sustaining commercial centre where both new and established businesses have set up shop to service the region. This initiative is offering new employment opportunities with leading companies for residents, as well as improved services for the area.
Toowoomba also has a brand new public library with state-of-the-art technology and modern facilities. Students can use these facilities free of charge from Tuesday to Saturday.
Employment growth and ongoing development
Employment opportunities in Toowoomba are booming. In fact, its jobs-to-residents ratio in 2018/19 was 1.03, meaning that there were more jobs than resident workers. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services had the highest ratio (1.63), making these industries incredibly high in demand.
The Toowoomba Region has also transformed its agricultural base into a diverse and strong economy, offering a wide range of business, investment and employment opportunities. Over the years, the city of Toowoomba has prioritised infrastructure, new development and public transport, which will likely preserve its high innovation and employment rates.
When it comes to further development, the Toowoomba Region has no intention of slowing down. On the contrary, the region has big plans for ongoing development, which will likely create new opportunities for employment, business and local industry, as well as improving lifestyle and services for the local community.
As an international student, you probably want some peace of mind that your study region is economically stable. In Toowoomba, you’ll undoubtedly have that confidence. Economic growth in the Toowoomba Region has been recorded at roughly 4.1 per cent per year over the past decade, far exceeding the state average in Queensland.
Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employing industry in the region. The health care industry performed extremely well over the last decade, adding nearly 4,350 jobs (a 47% increase) and over $480 million worth of economic value.
The freight and logistics sector has also grown by taking advantage of Toowoomba’s strategic location as the western gateway to the South East Queensland economy as well as the Surat and Cooper basins. Toowoomba also holds a prime position on the Melbourne to Brisbane freight route, which enhances its trade role. The Toowoomba Region’s largest export industries include mining, agriculture, manufacturing, transport, postal services and warehousing, all of which are continuously growing with each passing year.
Are you hoping to settle in Australia long term, even after you’ve finished your degree? Studying in Toowoomba might be the way to do that. The Australian Government has deemed Toowoomba a regional area for migration purposes, which means there are excellent incentives offered to international students who decide to study there. Once you’ve completed your studies, you can apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), which is a long-term visa that would allow you to live and work in Australia for an additional two to five years. From 2021, TGV holders who have graduated from a regional educational institution and have lived in regional Australia on their first TVG will be eligible to apply for a second TGV. Find out more about these regional incentives here.
Affordability and liveability
Toowoomba has been ranked as one of Australia’s most family-friendly cities and the Toowoomba Region ranked 7th in Regional Australia’s 2018 most liveable regions study.
Housing and living costs in Toowoomba are well below those in nearby larger cities. However, income levels for young adults living and working here are actually higher. In 2016, it was reported that the average young adult in the Toowoomba Region was earning approximately $27,000 per year, which was higher than those living in the Gold Coast or Brisbane during that same period. In other words, international students who choose to study and work in Toowoomba will benefit from a huge affordability advantage.