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Melbourne: World’s Most Liveable City Lures International MBAs

MBA students say sun, fun and career connections make Melbourne a top place to study

Wed Sep 30 2015

Scorching weather, great coffee, food and beaches — it is no wonder Melbourne has claimed the title of world’s most liveable city for five consecutive years.

It is just such a sterling reputation that has helped draw international students to Australia’s second biggest city.

“I love it here,” says Smit Dave, an MBA student at Melbourne Business School who moved to the city last year from India. He lists Melbourne’s timely transport network, rich history and cosmopolitan culture as among his highlights. “I would highly rate stability, culture and infrastructure,” he adds.

Approximately 83% of Melbourne Business School’s MBAs are from outside Australia, according to MBA rankings data, an increase on last year’s league table.

Of course there are many factors taken into account when choosing a degree destination, but students rate highly Melbourne’s lush green spaces, and for some the more relaxed immigration policy compared with some countries in the west is a draw.

Australia is the fourth most popular destination for prospective MBAs, according to the latest applicant survey from QS, up from fifth two years ago.

The Australian government forecasts Melbourne’s total population to surge by 3.4 million to reach 7.7 million by 2050.

Eoin O’Sullivan, a full-time MBA student at Melbourne Business School, moved to the city in 2010 to work as a clinical pharmacist at St Vincent’s University Hospital.

Comparing Melbourne to other highly-rated cities such as London and New York, he says there are “exceptional lecturers, brilliant marketing — [the] best in world — [a] close-knit alumni network, [and] brilliant business school support staff”.

Australia is also seen as a gateway to Asia Pac, with graduates working for example in financial centres like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Melbourne MBAs

Smit Dave, left, and Eoin O’Sullivan

Traditionally home to some of Australia’s largest natural resources companies, Melbourne has more recently emerged as a technology capital, with 20,000 tech professionals moving to live there over the past five years, according to Invest Victoria, the state promotional body. There are 8,000 tech companies in Victoria, including offices of IBM, Microsoft and Intel.

“We have easy access to top business professionals in almost every industry,” says Smit, who previously worked as a business area manager for Abbott, the healthcare group, in India’s Madhya Pradesh.

“In terms of career enhancement and job readiness we are equally prepared as students [are] from other cosmopolitan [cities],” he adds.

He is keen on Mount Eliza, Mornington for beach walks and says the best coffee spot in town is Brunetti’s Café on Lygon.

Eoin says that, for nights out on the town, there is perhaps nowhere better than the Crown casino complex. He also pinpoints the Napier Hotel in Fitzroy and The London in Richmond.

It is not all sun and fun, however. Smit’s best night spot? “Melbourne Business School’s reading room.”