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.
Rob Lawrence of Prospect Research and Marketing was responsible for the extensive qualitative and quantitative research and analysis into attitudes about student mobility. The target audience of this research included current students (who both have and have not completed a mobility program), academic staff, business and industry leaders, overseas Government staff, school teachers and students, and parents.
The research showed that students are very invested in the concept of mobility programmes and that, overall, those students who have participated in a mobility program are very satisfied with all aspects of their experience. The major benefits of mobility programmes are considered to be access to different ways of thinking, the opportunity to explore another country, awareness of a different culture and immersion into a different society. This new generation of students are highly engaged with travel and are looking for opportunities to go abroad.
The research identified that better methods of engagement and communication with students is needed, particularly around promoting the benefits of study overseas to students, addressing perceived barriers, such as cost, organisation, language and disruption of studies, and providing better post-experience support to returning students.
Detailed findings can be found in the documents below.
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