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 the project, market research was conducted into determining the awareness, attitudes and perceptions of university students and opinion leaders toward mobility programm in general. As part of the framework for measuring progress with this initiative, additional research was required to be undertaken towards the culmination of the first stage of the project.  This research is to determine the levels of awareness towards different mobility options, based around much higher exposure over the two plus year period in which the New Colombo Plan and other mobility initiatives have been actively promoted. 

Every university in Australia was encouraged to distribute an online survey to a selected sample of students in order to gain a national perspective.  In total, 27 universities distributed the survey and thanks to the power of social networking, students from 37 actively universities participated in the survey.

The following report provides an overview of the results.  All the data from the different universities was aggregated and then filtered according to over 90 different category headings, including nationality profile, level of study, age range, gender, major discipline and year level.

The qualitative research consisted of large format focus groups, of between 14 and 22 participants, conducted in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.  In total, students from 14 universities participated.  All of the participants were selected on the basis of having applied to participate in a mobility program irrespective of whether this program is yet to commence or has been completed. 

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