Irrelevant versus Contextualised Background

Version 1 Version 2

The University of Queensland was established by an Act of State Parliament on December 10, 1909 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Queensland's separation from the colony of New South Wales. Its foundation four months later made it the first university in the State and the fifth in the nation (ref.). Its main campuses are at St Lucia, Ipswich and Gatton, and in 2006 had 37,177 students enrolled from more than 121 countries (ref.). This included 6,332 international students (ref.) and 3,587 postgraduate research students, of which 665 were international students. In 2005, the University earned almost $190 million in research money (ref.).

The University of Queensland (UQ) is a large, mostly metropolitan-based university which is also one of Australia's oldest (ref.) and most prestigious universities. As such, it attracts some 70% of all research grant money coming into Queensland universities (almost $190 million in 2005 (ref.). Its size and prestige as a research institution consequently makes it an attractive destination for international students wanting to pursue a career in research, with some 665 international students being enrolled in a postgraduate research degree in 2006 (ref.). With such a large number of international research students being based at both a metropolitan campus (St Lucia) and a rural campus (Gatton), UQ is thus an ideal place at which to conduct a study on the adjustment issues international research students face when commencing their studies in Australia.

Comments: Some interesting history perhaps, but what was the point of it all? And certainly if you had to read any significant amount of material like this you would lose interest pretty quickly.

Comments: The words in bold indicate that this background is framed as an argument, justifying the choice of UQ as a place at which to conduct the research. This makes the relevance of the provided background clear to the reader and helps the writer weed out irrelevant background.