The student experience is central to the educational purpose and responsibility of Australia's universities. This paper affirms that student welfare and student safety are preconditions for that experience to be a positive and beneficial one for all.
The paper presents material on good practice in the universities on campuses, the area most self evidently within the responsibility of universities. But just as importantly, it fully acknowledges the necessity for reaching beyond campuses and working in partnership with different education providers, governments, employers and others in the community.
The principles and recommended actions in this paper reflect the views of Australia's universities and their determination to sustain and enhance the student experience, and to keep building a strong and resilient international education sector.
Only then can we ensure that all students have a safe and suitable learning environment during the whole of their period of studies. Only then can international education broaden and deepen and realise its full potential for the future for Australia.
Incidents involving international students, particularly from India, gave focus to these issues in May/June 2009. Universities Australia provided a ten point action plan for responding to these problems which drew on the information being developed for this position paper. The plan was closely considered at, and helped inform, a meeting of all Commonwealth, State and Territory Education Ministers held in Hobart on 12 June 2009.