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ICTE-UQ Director, Christine Bundensen AM, retires

3 Mar 2015
UQ's tribute to Christine Bundensen, AM.  See caption for details
Professor Peter Høj, UQ Vice-Chancellor and President, Mr Andrew Everett, Director UQ International, Ms Christine Bundesen AM, Director ICTE-UQ, and Professor Monique Skidmore, UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President International.

After more than three decades at the helm of ICTE-UQ, Director Ms Christine Bundesen AM has retired.

UQ paid tribute to Ms Bundesen’s contributions to the University and to the Australian international industry in a presentation on 25 February.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said under Ms Bundesen’s leadership ICTE-UQ has grown from a small English language centre with just three students in 1981, into a multi-award winning institute that today welcomes more than 6,500 students from more than 100 countries each year.

“Christine is recognised as a pioneer of Australia’s international education industry,” Professor Høj said.

“She has led ICTE-UQ and UQ to achieve international recognition in the fields of English language training and test administration as well as customised short course training for students and professionals, significantly strengthening UQ’s global reach and impact.”

Ms Bundesen said the Institute’s success has been built on key partnerships across education, government, industry and philanthropy.

“ICTE-UQ has more than 125 partners in 19 countries and a network of 112 education representatives,” she said.

“These linkages have enabled ICTE-UQ to deliver programs at UQ St Lucia and in 17 offshore locations for an estimated 130,000 students, with many of those students continuing to UQ programs.”

Ms Bundesen has also led the expansion of UQ’s global footprint to include two collaborative offshore English Language Institutes (ELIs) in Danang, Vietnam, and Antofagasta, Chile.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President International Professor Monique Skidmore commended Ms Bundesen’s contributions to the Australian international education industry.

“The impact of Christine’s achievements for the individuals and organisations she has worked with, and for UQ, will continue to multiply and resonate for decades to come,” she said.

“Christine’s quality assurance leadership has consistently raised the standard and reputation of English language training in Australia and helped to make it a destination of choice for tens of thousands of international students each year.”

In the early 1980’s Ms Bundesen established the first peak professional body for English language education and training in Australia, now known as English Australia.

In the early 1990’s she played a pivotal role in drafting national English language training standards and accreditation legislation and was an instrumental figure in negotiating the first Australian Government Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act introduced in 2000 to protect the rights of international students in Australia.

She has served on more than 35 government and industry advisory boards and councils across all areas of international education, including the board of IDP Education Australia (a network of more than 80 international student placement centres located in more than 25 countries) and the Australian International Education Foundation, the forerunner to Australian Education International.

Ms Bundesen was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 for service to international tertiary education.

She has also been awarded the inaugural IDP National Award for Excellence and Achievement (Australian International Education) in 1997, an Australian Centenary Medal in 2001, a Danang People's Committee of Vietnam Medal in 2005, and the inaugural English Australia Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

“It has been a wondrous professional career to have been part of ICTE-UQ’s growth and of the University’s internationalisation over the years,” Ms Bundesen said.

“I will take from my time at UQ many personally and professionally rewarding memories and express deep appreciation for the collegiality extended to me and the achievements shared.”

Ms Bundesen's last formal day at ICTE-UQ was in mid-February 2015. She will take a period of extended leave before official retirement in October 2015 and continue to serve on a number of committees, advisory councils and boards.