28 February 2022
The year 2021 can be compared to a gigantic ‘Snakes and Ladders’ game. When we thought that we had moved a step forward we went 5 or 6 steps back. We felt exhausted from prolonged fighting with an unknown opposition, and uncertainties that constantly interrupted our plans.
However, people here in Australia bade farewell to 2021 with one great achievement - re-opening our borders to international students!
Many of us reunited with loved ones after a long wait. Some of us embarked on adventures that had been put on hold for a while, or spontaneously took a flight as we were free to do so.
As we wake to a new year, still fully sensing the commotion brought by the pandemic, the staff, students and the community of AEG are looking beyond the positivity brought by the reopening of the international borders.
AEG will shape the future and thrive, rather than just surviving the present. 2022 will be the year of transition. We will welcome challenges with open arms and convert them to opportunities for reimagining, repurposing and creating our services, programs and membership. 2022 will be the year we leap to realise our vision - 'Enabling global mobility through intercultural education' through our mission - ‘To be the global leader in international education entrepreneurship'.
AEG has a deep faith in education as a tool to shape the future of our students. How about your mission and goals?
Our priorities in 2022 are that our programs and services will be relevant to the needs and interests of our students, accessible beyond the barriers of time and space with simplified admission processes, and individualised based on student choices. AEG will ensure that we are here to assist you realise your goals through intercultural education.
We look forward to welcoming our students at our campuses as well as via our Virtual Learning Environment.
I would like to end my message by quoting Dr Nick Coatsworth (Former Australian Federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer) from his article on 1 January 2022.
“Welcome to 2022, the year this pandemic ends!”
Principal Executive Officer
APC Education Group
APC Education Group Managing Director, David Yoo’s Response to the Sydney Morning Herald Report published on 10 January 2022
APC Education Group is proud to continue with our vision of “Enabling Global Mobility Through Intercultural Education” by providing access to quality education to all willing learners.
Unfortunately, the article by Ms Anna Patty published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 10 January 2022 titled “Call for crackdown on commercial cheating services for students” undermines the tireless work of the professional educators and others in the industry who have been supporting and sincerely looking after the wellbeing of vulnerable students, especially through the current COVID pandemic.
Our services are fully compliant with regulatory requirements with respect to both plagiarism and attendance requirements. But the focus on attendance in the article is misguided. Not only from a pedagogical perspective, but also if we are to prepare learners to engage in the modern workplace where remote work or working from home is widely accepted (and often demanded). Mere attendance does not indicate you are engaged (or productive at work) and there is a better way to assess, motivate and engage learners using technology and other tools we now have access to. Modern learners, like modern workers deserve more respect than being required to mindlessly attend for the sake of surveillance.
I am disappointed as I personally responded to Ms Patty’s request by responding to her queries prior to the publication of the article both over the phone and in writing, hoping to engage in a fair and open conversation about the often misrepresented international education sector.
I hope that you, our students, agents and educators, are not discouraged by the unbalanced article and give you our assurance that we are here to continue to support you throughout this difficult period and beyond. Where and how you study should not prevent you from getting a quality Australian education and be confident that we take our obligations to our learners very seriously. Our course completion rates are over 90% and we continue to strive to improve this.
On a positive note, this article has highlighted that even after nearly 30 years, there is much work to be done in promoting diversity. We will continue our quest to promote diversity through intercultural education by advocating for freedom of choice, freedom of movement of people and freedom of ideas, in a way that ensures every person is treated with dignity and mutual respect.
I have reproduced below a redacted copy of the emails that was sent to Ms Anna Patty at the Sydney Morning Herald today, Tuesday 11 January and also on Friday, 7 January 2022.
APC Education Group
11 January 2022
Email sent 11 January 2022:
Although I extended the courtesy to engage in a conversation with you to dispel the continuing misinformation and community negative sentiments about international students and private providers, your article and contents especially related to APC, misconstrues the facts and causes the furthering of misinformation, more angst and confusion among international students related to their attendance obligations.
“Some students in the Brasileiros group have discussed a preference for APC because it was “flexible with attendance”. One student said she studied marketing at APC and didn’t have to attend classes. “However you have to submit assignments and the only thing they check is plagiarism,” she said in Portuguese. Another said she did not take the course seriously and enrolled to secure her visa.”
You failed to mention that currently during COVID, all schools in Australia have to be flexible with on-campus attendance, including High Schools, TAFEs, and Universities, not just APC which you in fact acknowledged over the phone. This has been the directive of the industry regulator since March 2020 and remains the case today.
APC is fully compliant with the requirements of the industry regulator with respect to student attendance and informs its students of their attendance requirements clearly and regularly.
You also failed to mention the importance of learner engagement and course completion rates, which is a better measure of success, not just attendance which I wrote to you about after our conversation. This is from a well researched and proven pedagogical perspective, and I informed you that we were proud of our current course completion rates for our self-funded students which is over 90%, compared to TAFEs and Universities which are only at 60%-70%.
Your article undermines the professionalism of our educators and does little to represent a fair and balanced view to allow readers and consumers to make informed choices. It also simplifies the complex needs of students and unfairly vilifies international students.
“Another provider who has spruiked his services to international students on Facebook, claiming he has helped students at Australian Pacific College (APC), says he can provide assessments for $70 to $90.”
In the preceding two-three paragraphs you quote ITECA and DESE referencing “providers”, the industry accepted short version referring to “education providers”. By stating “Another provider..” and then referring to APC in the same sentence makes it appear that “APC” is the provider and myself as the spokesperson “...spruiked his services….”
I fear that you have missed a great opportunity to help promote Australian international education, especially at a time where we are all facing the common challenge to attract and retain global talent.
Instead, your article is perpetuating the misinformation and disinformation so prevalent in social media about private providers and international education. It misrepresents and undermines the great work done by quality private providers like APC, in supporting and promoting diversity and championing Australian education for nearly 30 years and giving any willing learner, domestic or international, a fair go.
Australia has a very strong reputation as a destination for globally mobile youth and with a strong regulatory framework for international students that we have been proud to help develop and maintain. The article is not well-balanced and does not help to alleviate the sense of abandonment our international students felt at the beginning of COVID and risks causing even more anxiety and adding to the vulnerable state of their mental well-being.
Email sent 7 January 2022:
Good to chat over the phone yesterday and hopefully I've been able to clear up some of the misinformation.
As disclosed, although I am a member-elected Director and Board Member of the NEAS, I have had the privilege of working and serving the Australian international education industry for nearly 30 years, so my views are not of NEAS, but from this perspective as the Managing Director of APC Education Group (AEG).
I understand that your main source of information is currently from social media sites, in particular, Facebook, which is subject to unqualified information and disinformation. So I was glad to engage with you and clarify some of the points you raised.
In response to your questions, here are some further details below, which you may quote:
We are very proud of our learner engagement, with more than 90% of our students successfully completing their programs, compared to less than 60%-70% at TAFEs and Universities. But our aim is to bring this attrition rate down to under 5%, as 10% in our opinion, is still too high as it represents learners who did not meet their academic goals after they invested so much time and money in Australia.
International education has an important role to play in Australia's future by providing access to quality education for the next generation of globally mobile learners. So our challenge remains in trying to attract and retain them as they have many other countries to choose from as we emerge from COVID.
16 December 2021
Please be advised that Australian Pacific College and English Unlimited will only issue Letters of Offer directly to prospective students or to one of our Registered Partner Agents published on our website.
We would like to remind all students of the importance of checking whether their agent is an authorised Registered Partner Agent of Australian Pacific College or English Unlimited before transferring funds to the agent, checking the bank account to which you transfer money and to always keep a receipt of any money you pay to either the College or your agent.
Please contact Student Care via Live Chat if you have any questions.
Effective Monday, 2 August 2021
It is my great pleasure to announce that effective Monday, 2 August 2021, Ms Youngeun Song will succeed me in the role of Principal Executive Officer of APC Education Group (AEG).
I feel extremely honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to serve as the founding PEO for over 27 years, and which was only made possible by being side-by-side with some of the most amazing and talented professionals from around the world.
I will continue to work towards ensuring that access to quality education and training is available to any willing learner and not be predicated on their current circumstances. Where one is today or where one has come from should not limit one’s access to future possibilities.
With this pursuit in mind, I will continue my role as the Chair of the Board and also take on a new role as the Managing Director of AEG focusing on strategic projects and investments.
Youngeun has over 20 years of experience in the field of education and training ranging from childcare centres, English colleges and Higher Education. Since 2011, she has held various roles at AEG and currently serves as the Campus Director (Queensland) and as the Student Experience Director at the national level.
I have great confidence that Youngeun will provide the stable guidance and support needed to continue to lead AEG’s vision of a student-centred organisation with entrepreneurial flair; in an innovative and rigorous manner, and with great humility and compassion to respond to the current and future challenges our learners face.
Thank you all for your endless support and your continuing trust in APC Education Group.
Principal Executive Officer
APC Education Group (AEG)
26 July 2021
The past 12 months have tested all of our collective abilities to respond to a fast-changing environment. What continues to be certain is that our future depends on our ability to face challenges collaboratively.
Independence must be respected, but it is only as strong as the collective wishes of the community. And as a member of any community, we each have a role to continue to actively participate and be involved with shaping what that independence looks like, and education has a significant role to play in shaping this.
As an education and training institution, we firmly believe that access to opportunities is an important first step towards becoming a lifelong learner. Having access is followed by your individual ability and motivation to participate in whatever activities, whether it is for your career and/or lifestyle choices, you wish to realise.
For example, I can read or watch about Meerkats (as in this video below), but the experience of being with them is far more enriching and fun as you can see. This is only possible as Hunter Valley Zoo has made available access to this awesome experience.
At the core of what we do as an organisation, no matter what your current personal challenges and circumstances are, is for you to continue to have access to educational opportunities, such as having your learning accessible online on myAPC.hub, removing the financial burden with our Tuition Fee Relief and introducing our peer-support program, the APC Study Buddy Program.
Also, to improve the ways we can make learning more engaging, in 2021, we will continue to explore how assessments can be redesigned, so that they are used as tools for self improvement to motivate and inspire you to actively participate; not as punishment or a means to test your memorising ability or rank you against your peers.
Assessments will still be meritocratic based on your effort and active participation against the skill and/or competency; but will not be used as a way to measure your learning in competition with others, but to inspire you to collaborate in search of continuous improvement.
In relation to our campuses, we remain committed to give you as much access as health authorities will allow, but in terms of when on-campus classes will resume, we are still planning for the later part of 2021 at the earliest, but know it could be pushed out to 2022 and will keep you updated regularly.
In the meantime, welcome to another new year of learning, get involved and let’s get creative to motivate each other to improve!
APC Education Group
28 January 2021
This edition is all about our new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)!
We cover information about Zoom, activities, how to stay in touch and much more!
Make sure to check it out so that you have all the information you need to make the most of your studies with us.
APC Education Group - 25 Years
In my mind, it seems like only yesterday that we opened our first campus at 189 Kent Street, Sydney. My reflection in the mirror reminds me that it was indeed 25 years ago. Yes, two-and-half decades of welcoming students from all over the world on a shared journey filled with hope and laughter; and then the inevitable tears as we part ways to pursue our passion for lifelong learning.
Below are some sample images from our archives of the changing face of the covers of our promotional brochures over the past 25 years.
1994 - 2011
It is always fascinating to view the changing trends and images, which also serve to remind us that the only constant is the march of time!
APC Education Group is most proud of continuing to provide our students with relevant skills and knowledge and by inspiring each other through intercultural experiences to create a community of learning.
Our passion to make a positive contribution is not diminished, but has only strengthened with the passage of time and, even after a quarter of a century, our greatest challenge remains the same. The challenge we face is not about differences in ideologies or economic opportunities, but one of culture. To build a culture where collective achievement is celebrated. A culture where individual efforts are recognised and participation is necessary for sustaining opportunities for future generations through intercultural exchanges. Culture is the solution.
In 2019, Australian international education remains at the forefront of global efforts to promote such collaboration through promoting intercultural opportunities. All of us are educators and carry the responsibility to pass on the torch to the next generation, as it is not a lack of ability, but the lack of equitable opportunities that hinders a person’s chances to fully develop their potential.
Intercultural education allows us to see what was once invisible to us and to reimagine possibilities. On behalf of all past, current and future students and staff, we are grateful and very proud to be able to continue to reimagine the future through APC Education Group. Happy 25th anniversary APC!
Principal Executive Officer
APC Education Group
21 June 2019
Your pathway with APC
20 yrs Birthday Celebration 30 May 2014