On what the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber, called ‘both a happy day and a sad day’, departing International students again voiced their enthusiasm for the special qualities of Armidale and UNE at a special farewell celebration at the Wright Centre on Friday, May 27th.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Mr Mohammed Hazazi, a Masters of Arts student from Saudi Arabia, said that when he began studying in Armidale and experienced the skill and dedication of the teaching staff, he realized that coming to UNE ‘was the best decision I have ever made.’
Mr Hazazi spoke of ‘the beauty of nature, peace of mind and relaxation’ as being ‘amazing qualities’ which could not be enjoyed in big cities, saying that, along with studying in ‘one of the best universities in Australia in the quality of teaching, comes the magical blend of living in Armidale.’
The twice-yearly celebration drew a representative group of the departing students from some 53 countries who are studying at UNE, which is currently enjoying its largest-ever enrolment of students from overseas. Professor Barber said this was partly due to the UNE’s successful partnerships with universities in China but also because of a growing appreciation of what the University and Armidale could offer international students, who often get ‘lost’ in big city environments.