New UNSW structure brings integrated approach to international recruitment and partnerships

Mr Laurie Pearcey has commenced his dual role as CEO of UNSW Global and UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor, International.


As CEO of UNSW Global Pty Ltd and UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor, International, Mr Laurie Pearcey leads an integrated international structure that strives to enhance student experience, provide better customer service and increase international student enrollment.

UNSW Sydney has combined its international student pathways and partnership development teams to create an integrated international structure to enhance student experience, provide better customer service and increase international student enrolment.

The new model shifts executive responsibility of UNSW Global to Mr Laurie Pearcey who retains his role as UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor, International. On 1 July, Mr Pearcey commenced as CEO of UNSW Global Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary of UNSW providing international pathways programs, including Foundation Studies, Diplomas and Academic English with over 5000 students in Sydney. It also operates an extensive network of transnational education programs across China and Indonesia. The dual role reports to the Vice President External Relations and is accountable to the UNSW Global Board of Directors.

In his role as CEO, Mr Pearcey’s priorities include expanding UNSW’s transnational education activity globally, building transformative academic and commercial partnerships internationally and continuing UNSW Global’s reputation as a leader of high-quality performance pathway programs.

“It is a privilege to be selected to lead one of the most innovative and successful pathways providers in Australia,” said Mr Pearcey.

“The transnational education environment continues to shift around us. The new structure is an opportunity to reinvigorate UNSW Global with expanded offerings, improved student experience and better customer service for our partners and students.” 

The combined structure aims to increase satisfaction and provide a better experience for those engaging with UNSW. Recruitment partners such as agents and schools will be managed using the same standards, processes and teams. Students will benefit from an integrated approach to student recruitment across pathways and full degrees with greater alignment to University processes, strategies and systems.

In addition, the External Relations Onshore Partnerships team will work in closer collaboration with the education and recruitment teams at UNSW Global. This will ensure stronger alignment with the strategy, campaigns and future student experience teams leading to greater conversion of pathways students to the University. What’s more, the new model will also bring into line the offshore Foundation Studies campus network and the University’s overarching student recruitment strategy, leading to stronger conversion from the overseas-based cohort.

As PVCI, a role he was appointed to in 2017 at the age of 33, Mr Pearcey continues implementing UNSW’s global impact strategy and supporting global partnerships. He has led a major transformation of UNSW’s international student recruitment numbers, which resulted in 70 per cent growth of international student commencement numbers since 2015.

Before his appointment as PVCI, Mr Pearcey led the development of UNSW’s China and India Priority Country Strategies with several significant commercial outcomes, including the establishment of the $1 billion Torch Innovation Precinct. Mr Pearcey served as the Executive Director of the International Office and the Director of the Confucius Institute at UNSW. Mr Pearcey’s leadership at the Institute expanded into a strategic role, which saw him develop UNSW’s first pan-University plan for China and later India.

Fiona Docherty, UNSW Vice President of External Relations said this was a significant appointment for the University.

“UNSW Global has always been critical to UNSW's overall international strategy - a strategy that has seen phenomenal growth in international students over the last five years,” Ms Docherty said.

”This appointment heralds a new chapter and a wonderful opportunity for Laurie and the leadership team at Global to make an even stronger contribution and to grow our profile and presence overseas via new transnational partnerships.”