Our Stories

Acbc Qld Member Spotlight: Reid Arkinstall, Director Of Corporate And Client Relations, Internatio

ACBC – Member Spotlight Interview


  1. What is the origin story of IES? What are the highlights of your business journey to date?


International Education Services (IES) has a proud history of preparing international students for The University of Queensland through our Foundation Year and English Language Programs. Since 1997, more than 10,000 students have continued on to study undergraduate degrees as diverse as Business Management, Economics and Journalism to Engineering, Pharmacy and Biotechnology. Our high standard of service is recognised by our partners, industry bodies and governments.


Throughout our 22 year history, IES has won several Queensland state awards, including Best Pathway Program and Outstanding International Student Support.  We continue to maintain our core value of excellence in education. We strive to provide all students with an excellent experience through high quality programs and student services, ensuring they get the most out of their studies and life in Australia.


In 2003 IES established our PIER digital platform, specialising in training solutions for international education agents best illustrated by our EATC (Education Agent Training Course) which ensures for a better student experience and has facilitated partnerships with government agencies; education peak bodies and community advocacy groups.


In addition, for the first time in our history, IES College plans to deliver the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to local and international year 11 and 12 students from 2021. We are very much looking forward to providing globally-focused, culturally competent learners with an internationally respected qualification and a unique learning experience within our already vibrant and bustling community.


  1. IES has a significant focus on indigenous art including a partnership with the Ikuntji Arts Centre and patronised art displayed across your premises. How does this focus translate into your services to students?




Art has the capacity to generate cross-cultural engagement and provides regular opportunities for IES students and staff to work alongside Indigenous artists through our Artist-in-Residence program. We have dedicated galleries that exhibit art through themes that include Kinship and Country, and Political Art.


In the next 12 months, IES will open a Microscopy Gallery, an initiative that seeks connections between Indigenous art practice and the representation of the natural world through high-resolution, microscopic imagery.


At IES, the artworks are used as learning tools for students. They help to improve independent critical thinking; they also provide a deeper understanding of the Indigenous culture. Through our Artist-in-Residence program, the students get to meet some of the artists to discuss not only art, but also geography, history, and many other topics. 


Thanks to our work with Indigenous communities, particularly Ikuntji Artists situated in Ikuntji/Haasts Bluff in the Northern Territory, west of Alice Springs,  IES students and staff are able to travel to Ikuntji to visit and meet with the community. The visits resulted in IES's donation of a mini bus to the art centre to assist with the mobility of community members.



  1. The Cultural Competence Program is a collaboration between SBS, Multicultural NSW and International Education Services to provide cost-effective training for cultural competence in the Australian workforce. How did this collaboration come about and how can ACBC members access this program?




Like SBS, IES recognises the importance of improving social cohesion in Australia and the outcomes for organisations operating in an increasingly diverse society. IES and SBS shared values resulted in the development of the Inclusion Program, Australia’s leading online training course to help companies embrace diversity and promote a safe and happy workplace.


Within the Inclusion Program, the Cultural Competence Program (CCP) is an online training course aimed at building capability around cultural diversity in the workplace. It features engaging multimedia learning modules and a wealth of resources. ACBC Members can get more information about the program from https://cultural-competence.com.au


IES has also collaborated with SBS to provide the Cultural Atlas, a free online platform that aims to improve social cohesion by providing comprehensive information on the cultural backgrounds of Australia’s migrant population. Free access to the Cultural Atlas at https://culturalatlas.sbs.com.au/



  1. How have the educational expectations of Chinese students and their parents changed over the years? Has the Chinese perception of Australia changed during your years of travelling and engaging with Chinese families and educators?




Based on my 25 years of experience in the industry and working with Chinese families, Chinese students choose to study in Australia for many reasons such as the high academic ranking of Australian universities, better employment opportunities locally or back home in China, affordable tuition fees and post-graduation migration opportunities. With globalisation and the rise of international education, these factors are even more prominent now than they were in the past. Chinese parents also increasingly want their children to have a broader worldview, be fluent in Chinese and English, and have a competitive edge.


IES’ education partner, The University of Queensland, is ranked 48th in the World based on the QS World University Rankings in 2019. UQ is also ranked the number 1 university in Australia for research based on the Nature Index Table in 2018. It is an advantage that UQ was ranked the 11th most beautiful campus in the world by Buzzfeed in 2015.


It’s our honour to continue to receive these students into our vibrant diverse community for unforgettable, high quality education experiences and for the students, their families and friends to continue to be welcomed back to Brisbane.