In June 2013, Universities Australia signed an agreement with the then Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (now the Department of Education and Training) 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.

As part of this project, Universities Australia recently commissioned IEAA to undertake a comprehensive research project on learning abroad. The subsequent reports examine current trends and outcomes, analysis of global policy settings and a review of support offered across government and institutions in Australia. They are broken down as follows:

  1. Outcomes of Learning Abroad Programs (Dr Davina Potts);
  2. International Trends in Learning Abroad (Dr Cate Gribble, Dr Ly Tran); and
  3. Learning Abroad at Australian Universities: The Current Environment (Leanne Harrison, Dr Davina Potts).

The first paper provides a review what is known about the benefits of learning abroad, including those afforded to individuals, institutions and broader society. The second paper provides an overview of international learning abroad trends, with a focus on intra-degree outbound mobility. It aims to examine different policy approaches – including government and institutional policies and practices – that encourage more students’ engagement in international experience during their higher education programs. Finally, the third paper provides an overview of the current context of learning abroad at Australian universities and the policies and practices that support the participation of students in these programs.

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