#teqsa2017 Panel Discussion: Achieving Quality and Success as an International Student

#teqsa2017 Panel Discussion: Achieving Quality and Success as an International Student

August 22, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


>>DEB VERHOEVEN: While everyone is coming up on stage I’ll introduce Patrick Pheasant who’s the Chief Executive Officer of the National ELT Accreditation Scheme, NEAS, and Chair. Thank you.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Thank you Deb. Hello everyone, are you almost ready for a
drink? Yes, [laughs], I know our Panel is,
what’s standing between you and…>>DEB VERHOEVEN: I am. [Laughter].>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Some people are!
I know our panel is what’s standing between you and the entertainment this evening, so I hope you enjoy the panel. It’s been a great honour really to be the
Chair of this panel focussing on how do we measure quality and success with international students. So we brainstormed some questions in our discussion for this panel, and we’ve heard a lot today from the various speakers about the importance of addressing the needs of international students. They bring a lot of revenue into our organisations and they certainly are increasingly larger cohorts on our campuses. And yet we’re challenged on trying to measure and understand what are the specific needs that international students have in our organisations. So I’m hoping, you’ll get a bit of a glimpse
from our experts, and hopefully walk away with some questions and hopefully some, answers as well. We do invite you to ask questions through
the app and I may grab some of those questions as you ask them, and there’s also time at
the end of the panel as well for answering those questions too. But let me introduce the panel, so we have
Brett Blacker, the CEO of English Australia, we have Professor Sophie Arkoudis who is the Associate Director of…>>SOPHIE ARKOUDIS: Arkoudis, Arkoudis.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Arkoudis.>>SOPHIE ARKOUDIS: I was going to give you the devil.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Thank you, I’m going to ask [laughs], she was going to be the devil in our panel, more on the devil and
angel later. So yes, Sophie Arkoudis who’s the Associate Director of the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education. We also have Bijay Sapkota who’s the President of the Council of International Students Australia and we have Professor Chris Ziguras who’s
the President of IEAA, the International Education Association of Australia. To keep you a little entertained throughout
the panel we’re going to play a bit of a game as we go along. I have put underneath all of the panel members two pictures, a picture of a devil and a picture of an angel, so throughout the presentation, I may draw on the panel members to be the devil’s advocate and respond to one of the
other speakers or to be the supporting angel and confirm or add some support statements to one of the other speakers. So, if you see me raising those little characters that’s what it means, and I also invite you to be either the devil’s advocate or the supporter with your questions as well. Okay, well let’s, jump right into, to ask
Sophie Arkoudis, some questions, yes. So, I mean, in your experience with the research that you’ve done I’m really interested to hear how you would go about defining and measuring quality with regards to international students.>>SOPHIE ARKOUDIS: Sure, okay, it’s a very difficult question and I just want to start by saying that with our international student cohort we’re actually talking about very different students. Their very different cultural and linguistic
experiences that they bring to studying in Australia and we tend to have an
even playing field and say they’re all international students and they have the similar characteristics, so the time that we’ve got allocated won’t allow us to get through into some of the nuancing that needs to happen. So I’ll start by saying that in higher education, particularly, we actually need to focus more on working out and having a stronger evidence base of the impact that we’re having international student learning. We actually don’t know enough about that and we don’t know enough about that because we’re not focussing enough on assessing students around what it is that they’re learning, what it is that they need to learn and where we’d
like to take them with outcomes. And part of that difficulty is really around
centred on academic staff and the teaching and learning practices that they adopt and
also part of the difficulty is around the practices that are used within universities. So can I just, sort of, talk a little about
that? So I think, number 1, if you’ve actually got,
recruiting international students and universities are very, would be very successful in increasing the number of international students that we’re bringing into Australia, we also have
to look at having some standards at points of entry into our courses, and this, there’s
great variety about, for example, what English language standards or minimum requirements we place in different sorts of courses that we’re offering within universities. And that might be fine, but we know for example, with IELTS scores that we need to students with a minimum of 6.5 and then they need extra support while they’re at university in order to be successful. But, you know, the reality is, those numbers
fluctuate up and down and a lot of variety exist in that. So if we don’t actually have standards on
entry it’s very difficult to ensure quality on exit because you’re actually having to
make up a lot of that ground. I think the other aspect that we really need
to address in universities is when we’re looking at the teaching and learning experiences of
international students and what we’re offering them, and how we’re making visible to them what the learning should be in the subjects that they’re undertaking. And a lot of these rests with assessment and it rests with trying to get better at, assessing students for what they should be achieving
and letting them know what that is, and also letting them know when they’re not achieving. And what it might take to actually get better with the quality of the work that they’re producing, and this will also allow us to
have more robust ways of defending our practices when it comes to issues of soft marking and all those types of allegations that sometimes get put out there with very little strong
evidence base that they’re actually existing. Have I got time for one more?>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Yes, yes of course.>>SOPHIE ARKOUDIS: Okay, and the last one I think is that, we’re really hitting a critical phase with our international student market in the sense that there are lots of queries being placed around the quality of the educational experience that we’re offering our international students. And some of these have to do with reports
that are coming out of China that students who are getting an Australian education and going back there are not actually being as employable as the students who stay there
and are educated there. So I think while these sorts of ideas are
milling around and students do come to Australia for a variety of reasons and one of those
is to increase their educational experience and their employment opportunities, we need to take a firmer look at how we might be able to network more closely with community, with alumni, with industry and integrate a little bit more of those employability skills that
are required for students, for all our students actually, but particularly for international
students given limitations on their work experience, etc, to be able to allow them to foster those
skills to make them more employable when they go back home.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Thanks Sophie, so
I’m hearing you’re saying, it’s important to, I mean, international students are diverse so it’s not really a, kind of, a one size fits all solution.>>SOPHIE ARKOUDIS: That’s right.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: And it’s also really
important to consider the steps along the lifecycle for the student because, you know,
there’s different approaches at different stages.>>SOPHIE ARKOUDIS: Exactly, yeah.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Thank you. So over to Brett Blacker, CEO of English
Australia. Now you represent a lot of English language colleges in, Sydney, higher education university sector as well as other sectors and recently we’ve had, you know, changes
to the ELICOS standards which you’ve consulted on and the ESOS Act. I’m interested to hear from your perspective, how do you measure and define success for international students.>>BRETT BLACKER: Yeah.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: And also, well what do you think the future has in store for us?>>BRETT BLACKER: Okay, two big questions, I guess the first one, the definition of our success and measurement, with such a learned audience I won’t, sort of, try to get it too technical, I think I’ll leverage off Koady’s
definition, in the past session from the regional session where, you know, the broad definition of success being about the accomplishment of a set of aims, and so goals, and about
the measurement just being an assessment of either the importance, the value or indeed
the effect of something. Now if we look at that in terms of the lens,
in an academic lens then that assessment is quite easily determined by a test and academic performance, or potentially extended out to the other key drivers which have been discussed here, I think numerous times today around retention and progression. But if you look at that through the lens of
a student and as Sophie just mentioned it’s obviously much more complex and I know Bijay will pick up on this as well. So those attributes of why they’re investing
in their education, be it an international student or a domestic student, are far greater than just that academic progression. If you were to look at I guess, Australia
as a microcosm in international education and if onshore international education was
the measure of success, then Australia would by far be a higher distinction student. You know, if you look at the record numbers of enrolments and our global positioning, 2016 to have some 544,000 students come to study here in Australia and that was from 192 different nationalities, an enormous amount of diversity, when you look at that and again, 11% growth, and even year to date, it continues
to grow at 11% overall and 15% in higher education. So quality has to be part of that driver,
to why students are selecting to come to Australia, and the quality of their experience while
they’re here, certainly academic quality, is part of that. Some would argue we’ve probably in the global context been an affordable quality and as currency fluctuations change in different
countries, you know, that starts to be challenged, and indeed, admissions requirements are another one of those proxies for quality and in some of those key markets and, indeed China, again, as is increased competitiveness around entry requirements, that’s another issue that we have to face
as a risk. But I guess we have to look at, do international students’ perceptions and requirements change to that of a domestic student, but I also
look at it to the point of, Bijay, and as part of the panel today. If you look at that 554,000 people as part
of Australia’s population in broad terms and, and we could argue the semantics, but broad terms you’re looking at about 1 in 45 people in Australia being an international student. If you look at it as part of the basic university, you start at a benchmark of 20% across the university, from my members it’s obviously
100%, English Language College is 100% international students. So if you look at the measurements of success, and indeed, outside of that enrolment then tools that start to that, are tools where
I guess you can have other metrics, but say the International Student Barometer and the Australian Student Satisfaction Survey. English Australia administer that on behalf of English language providers, and we’re doing that survey at the moment, but it’s a cross-sector survey. The last survey, presented that overall 90%,
or the feedback of students that was satisfied or very satisfied was 90% and on the learning category alone it was around 87%, a little bit higher for English language. So look at that metrics, I think there are
some indicators that we can draw upon outside of the legislative framework which would say Australia’s scorecard is doing quite well, albeit, with a number of risks. Where do we go from here, Patrick, just, I
guess in brief terms, at the moment we’re, sort of, concluding the process of the, sort
of, you mentioned the ELICOS National Standards and that’s one of the last elements
of the legislative framework, which has been under review and ESOS, our Education Services for Overseas Students Act, which I think has been a paramount of Australia’s success is
probably seen globally as one of the best quality assurance frameworks as a student
protection framework. But that came in back… …it was last reviewed in 2015 or was it, it
came into effect, so it’s, kind of, like, painting the Harbour Bridge, and I think by
the time we get the foundation programmes standards done next year we’ll be back to doing the review again. There as a lot of good things, good elements, but even where we look at, particularly in ELICOS, you know, there’s new standards in
there around assessment and I confirm that’s assessment, not test, of how providers, particularly in these direct entry pathways that don’t use IELTS or standardised testing, how they
assure quality or the validity of the students going into the pathway degree. Now where I see that is, probably picking
up on Professor Saunders’ comment this morning, the growth most likely or ultimately going
to happen within the private higher education setting and, I think that the partnership
between private higher education and traditional higher education needs to be at the forefront of that. I know we recently launched a direct entry
programme special interest group and it was really interesting that we had great and enthused participation or expressions of interest to be part of that group. But it was a number of our non-university
providers actually wrote to us to see whether they were accessible, if it was accessible
and it was, kind of, like a nonsense of entitlement, whereas we want that to be more inclusive. So, I think that public partner, partnership,
public private partnership has to be part of that next wave of how we look at quality
controls and, and success.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: There’s some good points, I mean, and I would certainly echo that, you know, Australian standard are famous worldwide and a lot of the work that my organisation does is, to quality assure by Australian standards. And there’s certainly a large interest in
using those standards. Let’s look at, from a student perspective
with Bijay’s comments. So Bijay you were New South Wales’ International Student of the Year in 2016 and you’ve been involved with a lot of committees and activities engaging with senior leadership at universities as a student and representing international
students. I’m really interested to hear from you what
you believe students think is quality and success from a student perspective.>>BIJAY SAPKOTA: It’s a very vague question, as Brett mentioned before, quality and success it can, it’s a very, and since international
students is, such a big cohort, it would be quite hard for me to answer the question on behalf of all the students, but at the same time I’ll try my level best, so that I don’t
piss off my fellow international students right here. [Laughter]. Quality means better education, better engagement, better advice and better direction, quality would be a tool, but success would be the
result of that tool. So, for international students, if they get
better education, if they’re better engaged and if they get better direction, better advice on where they are heading to, then they would certainly achieve success in terms of getting either employed or either being an entrepreneur or either stepping into leadership, either
back in their hometown, home place or in Australia. I’d like to add, furthermore, comments in the upcoming questions about what international students would further, would love to see
in Australia in terms of engagement, in terms of jobs and in terms of liaising with community as well, you know, yes.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: So I’m very interested to hear from your perspective, I think a lot of the solutions that are provided to enhancing the international student experience and to encourage them to do well and really looking at, supporting international students uses a deficit model where we go
in and we try to fix problems of the international students, rather than looking at the bigger
picture and how the support from domestic students and from, you know, embedding into the curriculum support for international students, especially around English language. I’m interested to hear from you what you think about that, I mean, what’s your experience as a student?>>BIJAY SAPKOTA: So I’d love to make a comment on international students, some of the struggles they go through in terms
of job security, when we talk about success, is, let’s say there’s an international student
who wants to do a part-time job first to get experience in hand, to work as an engineer
later on, they do have the work entitlement of 20 hours per week, majority of the job
vacancies they do have a 24 hours minimum requirement. How would you really expect an international student to be successful in the terms of, with no prior experience in their student
life. The other issues would be around international students’ engagement in university or institution governance. I’m glad, we are joined by Professor Sally
Varnham here – she’s been advocating for international students’ engagement in the university environment, since, as Brett already mentioned, international students represent about one out of four or
five people residing in Australia. So, international students are really underrepresented in university governance, in institutional governance or in the decision-making places. And it is very important for us to think about how do we bridge this gap and how do these international students engage. I was one of those lucky international students who got to engage with many peers, many stakeholders and I’m staying here but there are numerous international students who do not even know about the importance of Academic Boards or who do not even know there’s a faculty board in existence in their university. And then actually, in order to bridge this
gap we, at CISA, we have initiated, and we’re working in collaboration with four national
peak bodies, CAPA, NUS, NATSIPA and we’re planning on signing an MoU to work collaboratively on common student issues so that we could bridge the gap in terms of issues that international and domestic students face in common. The other aspect would be proper academic advice, international students they do not have proper English, when I came to Australia, I didn’t have proper English as well. I started off from UTS Insearch, I can see
Associate Professor Sally Varnham here, [laughter] okay, so yeah, when I came to Australia my
English was really bad, okay, I didn’t know what I was studying, I didn’t go through the
university handbook, everything we have, but, I have to quote UTS Insearch again. UTS Insearch had an academic adviser, so I went to all the academic advisers, talked to them, and
they gave me proper direction. So one thing where we should be looking at
when we’re talking about international students is, they come here with not that better English proficiency, at that time they would need people who would assist them, to guide them through. I can give an example of, once my friend who was doing mechatronics engineering and he was very frustrated, I was in the University
Council and he came up to me, asked me if I could assist him in giving him proper direction on where he’s heading to. What he told was, he joined mechatronics engineering with an expectation of, you know, inventing robots or playing with robots, modern devices, but when he started his course all he had to do was to engage with DOS programming, black and white computer [laughs] and working with DOS programming, he was so frustrated. So, I think, international students, they,
you know, before coming to Australia, they do not, the majority of the international
students don’t get the opportunity and then they do not have that level of English proficiency to read through the contents of what’s in the course. Now when they come through pathways like English course, or if they come through diploma foundation, that is where these international students
can be given proper direction in terms of what their course actually is. And this is something I struggled with as
well, so yep, [laughs].>>PATRICK PHEASANT: So we’re talking about the lifecycle and your experience at the beginning of that journey. You also mentioned when we were talking before about the experience at the end of the journey with job security
and, trying to get work, can you share a little bit of that as well?>>BIJAY SAPKOTA: Certainly, as I mentioned before, like international students, they have 20 hours work limitation as part-time,
when they study, right, and in order to get a job, for example, for me as an engineer,
if I want to get a job in an engineering-related field, then I couldn’t get an engineering
job and compete with other students who’d have engineering-related experience, and myself getting experience from 7-Eleven or something, how could I expect to compete, right? And when we talk about quality and success, now this is where it varies and this is very, very critical when we talk about international
students being able to get that experience, even if they go back to their country or stay
here, they have to be you know, I think Australian educational system is fantastic, but at the
same time we have to be very careful in terms of whether that quality and that success is
being achieved by international students, that’s number one. The second thing is, in terms of international students when they go out there, the community is not aware, first thing we need to be looking at is to make the community aware of what is the importance of international students,
what do they bring to the community, and this has been covered a couple of times in today’s panel discussions. So, it’s very important to educate business
as stakeholders and also, the community at large to educate them on what international students bring with them if they get recruited. So it is very important to bridge the gap
between domestic and international students. Having said this, I’m not trying to say that
we should get more jobs than domestic students but there should be a fair go with the same
course that domestic students study and international students.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Yeah, well said, thanks for sharing your experience there. Okay, we’ve got some questions coming up but I’d like to just turn first to Professor Chris Ziguras. You’ve had a lot of experience engaging with the various metrics and surveys and data sets that are out there, measuring all sorts of
elements about this international student experience. Can you share some of your insights from that data, how does the data help us understand really, how students perceive quality and
success?>>CHRIS ZIGURAS: Sure, thanks Patrick. And look, the International Education Association at the moment is embarking on a project to look at data gaps in international education
broadly, and so I thought when we’re faced with this challenge, this panel, what the
students think about quality, I thought of digging into the data to find out what, how
would we know based on the data what we have. And in Australia we actually have really good data compared with most higher education systems, in lots of ways, and so as a researcher, which is part of what I do, it’s a joy to work in the Australian system compared with some others sometimes looking at equivalent things. And so we, the project at the moment, if anyone is interested in data issues in international education, if you Google ‘IEAA data gaps’ you’ll find the survey. We’re asking people who work in this sector what sort of data do you need
to access, is there any data that you would like that you can’t access or any deficiencies, so we’re at that stage of doing a survey now, of people’s use of data and their desires
for extra data. And then through February we’re doing consultations around the country with groups who are using data in various ways. And so if you do that survey we can, and you’re interested in consultations we can follow up in February. But look, firstly there is one, there’s a
couple of different data sets I want to talk about. One is a very large international
student survey that’s done in Australia every two years and we’ve been doing it since 2010 and that uses an external tool, developed first in the UK called the International Student Barometer. And so we survey over 50,000 students every two years in all sorts of institutions. So last time in 2016 there was about 66,000 responses to the survey, so a 26% response rate, which is pretty good for an online survey. And that survey is really interesting for
us because it compares our students with a pool of 3 million students who filled in the
survey around the world over a decade. And so we can get interesting comparisons
between Australian outcomes and outcomes of international students to many other countries. But importantly, at an institutional level
that allows the institutions to see how their international students are disaggregated by a college, by a programme, and so on, compared with students nationally and internationally. And that has been, that survey has been supported by the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training for quite a few years now, which I think is
a fantastic intervention by the Government because what it does is, it provides data
back into many layers down within higher education institutions which shapes behaviour of institutions and it shapes incentives, because lot’s of people’s careers are held to account based on that sort of data, that’s provided internally. So that’s been really informative, that sort
of data. Having said that, there’s a couple of limitations I think, and one is that on a national scale the reporting of it is fairly thin, so there’s
a one page infographic on higher education students, tens of thousands of them and the results are great. It shows that, you know, as Brett said before, 90% of international students in Australia are satisfied, 87% with the quality of their
learning and so on, and that’s either at par or better than students globally. So we know for, if you look at the millions
of students who’re travelling overseas around the world, we’re performing on par with other countries, so that’s good. But we don’t publish similar breakdowns of
that data as we do in other sets, so we can’t get any demographic breakdown by the types of students coming in, we can’t tell by level of study, by field of study and so on. And at a national level we should be able
to have that sort of data to be able to have a conversation with peak bodies and others about how we’re faring in providing services to students. So within institutions the data is very fine
grained which is great, it needs to be, what we report outside, we don’t want to identify
individual institutions and students but it, I think it could be much more detailed than
we have. One other limitation of that data is that,
it’s, there’s been underrepresentation of non-university higher education providers
and vocational education in the past and so now we’re working on that, the International Education Association is recruiting those institutions to participate and the Commonwealth Department of Education subsides participation in this survey, so they’ll pay half of the
cost of the survey. And for small providers with less than 50
international students the whole cost is funded by the Commonwealth, so if any providers here haven’t been involved in that survey before, I’d strongly encourage you to do it, it provides great data back to the institution and you can contact the IEA Secretary who can help. One other gap there is with offshore students, and so offshore students in the past haven’t been included in that survey, but now i-graduate is also administering an offshore version of that survey next year, again, with support
from the Commonwealth Education Department, which is fantastic. So those two areas that have been underrepresented – small providers and offshore students – are going to be included from next year, which is fantastic. One other, the other, it’s a big data set
that we have, is the QILT indicators, the Quality Indicators in Learning and Teaching, and their international students in Australia are surveyed along with other students which is great. But what they show is that student satisfaction, for the international students, and students from non-English speaking backgrounds overall, domestic students and international, have lower rates of satisfaction than domestic
students or native English speakers, it’s around 81% compared with 75%, so that’s concerning there. And it’s particularly on learner engagement
and teaching quality perceptions there, of international students, are lower than others. So that’s something that we’ve got to look
more at, I think, we’ve got to spend more time digging into that data. And in what’s published on the QILT by
the agencies involved, it’s difficult to dig down into why that is, but I think we need
to get better outcomes or better understandings there. And again, transnational students aren’t included in that data so we don’t have any indication through QILT about how we’re delivering quality education to the hundred thousand plus students who’s studying in a higher education outside Australia, so we neglect those students in many different types of data collection. Similarly the Graduate Outcome Survey that’s part of that, includes international students onshore bit it doesn’t report on domestic
versus international students, so we can’t tell about the employment outcomes. All we can tell from what’s reported is, by
English language, spoken at home and a language other than English spoken at home. And there we know that the employment outcomes are poorer for students from non-English speaking backgrounds and I think that’s been understood and been the case for a long time and it’s quite intractable unfortunately. But what’s interesting, in the new survey,
there’s, that’s been added, is an employer perception survey. And employer perceptions of students who they’re employing from a non-English speaking background, it’s actually better
than native English speakers which I found fascinating. But again in that data, the way that we report it, it doesn’t give us any breakdowns on international versus domestic students. Neither did those graduate outcomes surveys include offshore students in the reporting. So some institutions might chose to administer those surveys to offshore students, which I think they should, and they will have their
data internally to be able to compare how their students are travelling offshore in
Australia. But in the national conversation about how
we talk about how we’re serving our students we completely neglect that a quarter of international students who are studying in their home countries or somewhere else, and I think it’s those
students who we really need to include within that sort of data collection. Yes, so I’ll, maybe I’ll finish there, but
that’s my sense of…>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Yeah, that’s really interesting to hear how the data sets match the experience we have here, as Bijay has
indicated. We’ve got some questions that have come up and I’m going to throw the first one to Sophie, and Sophie’s going to be devil’s
advocate on this one. And so Sophie, as the devil’s advocate, not
necessarily your personal view but if you can just go for it, just the devil’s view,
how would you best support study abroad students who have just come over to study for one term?>>SOPHIE ARKOUDIS: I was hoping you wouldn’t be asking that question, I was looking at the others. How will we support, well first of all I’d
like to get rid of the word support totally out of our, the language that we use around
international students because it feeds into the deficit views that you talked about, that
they need support in some way. And I think we need to come up with other
language to talk about this. And secondly, if they’re here for a term I’ll
just revert back to my applied linguistics background, you give them an immersion programme, you get them out there socialising, speaking English every opportunity they can get because we can’t underestimate the value of developing social language skills that facilitate the
development of academic language skills, they go hand in hand. That’s what I would be doing, socialising
them as much as possible with English speakers.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: And I guess that, kind of fits into another question which is really, talking about holistic university experience,
not just what happens in the classroom, but all of the student engagement and student
experience activities around the classroom. Being an angel, please Bijay, what, with regards to student experience, what’s been some of the best practice you’ve seen for activities
outside of the classroom?>>BIJAY SAPKOTA: In terms of universities, now there’s pros and cons to this, like the majority of the universities and institutions
in Australia they do have clubs, societies, different student bodies, but at the same
time international students are really underrepresented, as I mentioned before, in University’s board
as a whole. So, like, when you talk about University Council, we cannot expect, there’s a country, I can really anecdote the name, but there’s a country which has a Women’s Council which is made of all male, it’s the similar case with international students. How can you expect the [laughs] University
Council or University Boards with no international students in there, how can we get their opinions on board, can we talk on their behalf? No, we cannot. In CISA we had the same issue, this time it
wasn’t because it was our choice, what happened was, none of the women, CISA women ran for election but we had CISA members who were women. And we couldn’t say that, okay we are men
and I actually have been advocating personally for women empowerment for a long time, for more than three years, how, I couldn’t even say that, okay I want to speak on behalf of
the women, we had to elect, amend the constitution, elect a women’s officer on board to speak
for the women. So, it is very important that students are
engaged and when we talk about the statistics, and, you know, when there are, this statistics based on entire student experience, international students are not engaged, not for the statistics. In my first, two years, about one and a half
year of my university I never filled out any survey, nor did my friends, so international
students have to be encouraged to engage in the university governance. People like Sally Varnham, her symposium,
you know, we have to give her a higher stake in terms of like getting, giving her the priority on doing the research in this area and what international students can bring to the community. There’s a fantastic thing that happened in
UTS’s Aerial Function Centre a couple months ago in Sally Varnham’s symposium. She had all the four student leaders on board, we had Sadie, Peter and Sophie, so all these people, I was very delighted to meet all of
them and I could see, the majority of the international student issues relate to domestic student
issues, but we are not even able to communicate with each other because international students are so less represented. Today’s TEQSA Conference as well, can, I’ll
just like to ask is there, can international students raise your hand. I’d just like to have a look how many of us are here. One two three four five, Brett, I think I
gave you fine number [laughs]. So, certainly it is such a great conference
and, you know, it’s such a great place to get international students know about what’s going on in terms of quality of education of Australia. Australia has so much to offer, why would
you not have them engaged, when we restrict that borderline and it’s not that international students are, it cannot participate in engagement or cannot engage themselves in governance or… …there’s no restriction but the fact that international students have to be encouraged in the orientation programme, when they come to the university they have to be encouraged about, okay this is, these other areas where you can engage
in governance.>>PATRICK PHEASANT: Thank you for your comments on that and thank you for the questions from the audience and I’d like to thank the
panel members, thank you. Can you give a round applause for the panel members? [Applause].>>DEB VERHOEVEN: And thank you to you. [Applause].