Students can earn a degree in half the time at Griffith University

Longley-Griffith-01 PIC2

Dr. Kay Hartwig, Director of Internationalisation at Griffith University, and Derrick Willcott, Regional Marketing Manager at KOM Consultants, are going across the country to speak with Canadian college students about their educational opportunities.


Studying in Australia has never been more attainable.

Griffith University in Queensland, Australia is reaching out to college students across Canada to promote their international articulation agreement, which allows college students in any field to turn their diploma into a degree in as little as a year.

The articulation agreement is in place to provide college students around the world with the opportunity to not only study abroad, but to give them valuable life experience and put them on the fast-track to gaining a university degree.

KOM Consultants, an International Education marketing firm in Hamilton, represents Griffith University.

“We help students apply. We help students get their visa. We help them find accommodation, whether living in residence or living off campus. And we also help them with travel arrangements,” said Derrick Willcott, regional marketing manager at KOM Consultants.

“When a student registers with us, there’s a $70 fee. That’s all we charge. And that waives their application fee to the university, which is $50. So for $20, we hold their hand right through the entire process. Basically, we’re like the application centre for Griffith University.”

If a student graduates from Sheridan with a two- or three-year diploma, they will get their credits transferred toward a bachelor’s undergraduate degree. A three-year diploma will allow a student to complete a degree in one year, and a two-year diploma will be converted into one and a half years, or three semesters, of study, toward their degree.

“You won’t get that generous credit transfer with universities over here in Ontario or Canada,” Willcott noted.

As is the case with any education, it does not come cheap. For one year of study to earn a degree at Griffith University, tuition is approximately $20,000, plus $18,000 for living expenses, which includes rent, food and recreation money. OSAP does fund students internationally, up to $10,000 for one year and $15,000 for a year and a half.

Willcott says the benefits of going far outweigh the costs.

“When students come back, they’re fully recognized with a degree, and Griffith is internationally recognized,” he said. “So when you’re applying for a job, a lot of employers nowadays like to not just see education, but international education, because it shows that that person is well-rounded, mature, can think on their feet, and they’ve studied on the other side of the world.

“And don’t get me wrong, education is important,” Willcott continued. “But it’s also about life experience. When a student goes over there for a year, year and a half, when they come back they’re a different person. They’ve changed because of the experience.”

“It gives people an international edge,” added Dr. Kay Hartwig, Director of Internationalisation at Griffith University, noting that the school offers Master’s level degrees as well.

Hartwig notes that teachers, for example, gain a huge employment advantage.

“They’ve taught in a classroom that is a very different culture,” she said. “They’ve taught internationally, they’ve studied and they’ve come back to Canada to teach, so they have a much more global perspective. They are much more attuned to diversity in the classroom, and they’re much better placed to be a teacher of the future.”

Over the past five years, 19 Sheridan students have attended Griffith for various degrees. All are achieving success.

Jordan Beardall graduated from Sheridan College with a diploma in Marketing in 2007, and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree after just one year, in 2009. Less than one year later he found a job at The Canadian Group and has worked his way up to national account manager, where he handles accounts with Walmart, Sears and Chapters/Indigo.

Monika Giasson also graduated from Marketing, in 2011. Last year, she graduated with a degree from Griffith and is now a marketing assistant at Gay Lea Foods in Mississauga.

Megan Dunn graduated from the Broadcast Journalism program at Sheridan in 2009, completed her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations at Griffith in 2011 after three semesters and is now working as a reporter for Sun Media.

And Lisa Baxter, a professor of Community and Justice Studies at Sheridan College, is among the graduates of Griffith as well, earning her Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

“I absolutely loved my time in Australia,” Baxter said, ”and wish I had had the opportunity to stay longer. I highly recommend it.”

To qualify, students must graduate with a grade point average (GPA) of 65 per cent or higher in their program. And coming from Canada, Hartwig, notes, they are given an extra advantage.

“Because they are international students, there are no caps on the number of students that we accept,” she said. “So they aren’t competing with others for a place at Griffith. They are just competing with themselves and their marks.”

Semester start dates in Australia are reversed from North America. The first semester at Griffith goes from February to June, and the second semester goes from July to November.

For more information, visit the KOM Consultants website or the homepage at Griffith University.

See a chart of all the diploma programs that are accepted at Griffith University below.