In June 2013, Universities Australia signed an agreement with the then Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education to lead the development of an information and promotions strategy to assist in the promotion of student mobility programs. The aim of the strategy was threefold:
  • To increase awareness of the benefits of study overseas generally;
  • To increase awareness of the opportunities to study in Asia; and
  • To increase awareness of the funding options offered to students to participate in a mobility program, including the changes to OS-HELP.

The information and promotions strategy also assists in promoting Universities Australia's international higher education priorities as outlined in the Smarter Australia document, which calls for a more holistic approach to internationalisation.

In order for the strategy to best reach key stakeholders and relevant audiences, the work was divided into a number of components, including an audit of existing mobility programs, a literature review of existing research and a comprehensive research project on attitudes toward mobility.

The audit of programs was conducted by Alan Olsen of Strategy, Policy and Research in Education (SPRE), with assistance from Rob Malicki of Aim Overseas. Alan completes similar work for the Australian University International Directors Forum annually and was asked to complete the audit based on his experience, knowledge of the sector and networks within both the University and VET sectors.

The data revealed that student mobility is continuing to grow. In 2012, there was a total 24,866 overseas study experiences undertaken by Australian university students. Though America and Europe dominate as the destinations of choice for exchange programs, Asian destinations are the most popular choices for short-term programs which make up more than 60 per cent of total experiences. Importantly, more than 70 per cent of experiences received some funding support or had access to OS HELP.

The results of the audit, as well as a literature review, can be found in the documents below.

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