Supporting international students and enhancing internationalisation mini-conference

Course description

This workshop will help staff develop knowledge and skills to create an effective learning environment for international students as well as to internationalise curriculum and prepare all students as global citizens. Read below for full information about session presentations.

If selecting to attend via Teams, you can do so on the day via this link.

Supporting international students to thrive in the College of Science and Engineering
Presented by: Dr. Masha Smallhorn (Student Success Lead in College of Science and Engineering & Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology)
An increase in international students enrolled in the College of Science and Engineering has encouraged careful consideration of the support international students require to thrive in the Australian Tertiary Education System. In this presentation, Dr Smallhorn will discuss some of the strategies implemented in the College of Science and Engineering to improve the engagement and retention of international students in 2023. She will also discuss features in Canvas which can be used to encourage participation during class activities and to assist in scaffolding learning.

United Nations of Mindfulness
Presented by: Dr. Leigh Burrows (College of Education, Psychology and Social Work)
During this presentation, Dr Burrows will share a range of inclusive and accessible mindfulness activities that can be embedded into any topic including: sharing a significant object brought to class leading organically into culturally inclusive and respectful conversations, seasonal mandala, mindful lake walking, noticing in nature activity, silent contemplation in the edible garden, painting a simple watercolour tree to create a class 'forest' and the 'mindfulness of a leaf' activity and sharing. The other activity would be similar and is suitable for student and staff wellbeing. The Mindful Lake Walking is now a weekly activity in Education with staff and students participating once a week and provides an experience of awareness, attunement, connectedness and belonging in relation to the university campus and its abundant natural beauty, whilst walking and chatting together in an organic manner.

Collaborative Online International Learning Projects
Presented by: Dr. Hafij Ullah (Lecturer in Accounting, College of Business, Government and Law)
Hear from Dr Ullah about the purpose of the Collaborative Online International Learning Projects, which is to provide students with virtual mobility experiences, to help them develop skills and to enhance student satisfaction. 

Better selection - retention – empowerment
Presented by: Prof. Susanne Schech (Professor, Geography, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences)
Better selecting, retaining, and empowering international students to succeed are interconnected objectives. In this presentation, Professor Schech will share some recent experiences from the Master of Environmental Management & Sustainability course which predominantly attracts international students from South Asia.

Supporting international students for academic and employability success in the TESOL program
Presented by: Dr. Mai Ngo (Senior Lecturer in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences).
Academic and employability success concerns all students, including international students. In her presentation, Dr Ngo will share international students’ insights as well as her recent experiences in supporting international students in their academic and employability success from the Master of TESOL program, which attracts international students from many Asian countries.

A System Thinking Approach Supporting International Students
Presented by: Dr. Shervin Shokri (College of Business, Government and Law)
Dr Shokri has been engaged with supporting international students at Flinders University for more than 10 years. Her own lived experience as an international student, together with her employment in various academic and professional roles in Australia has enabled Dr Shokri to have a holistic view of some issues experienced by students and staff. Dr Shokri has worked at the college of BGL since May 2023, where she’s had the opportunity to pilot a support program for MBA students. The pilot program has been successful in reducing the risk of late arrivals, increasing the preparedness of students commencing their studies, reducing some workload for staff at the college, and improving students’ experience. Dr Shokri will share her findings with the group and encourage attendees to share their own challenges in implementing similar initiatives at Flinders.

Stakeholder responses to how providers and communities can support international students
Presented by: Prof. Jill Blackmore from Deakin University (Alfred Deakin Professor in Deakin’s School of Education).
This presentation will provide background to a Department of Education Best Practice Guides for Engaging International Students in Australia. While the guides are not  published, I will provide background and summary of what the Deakin team did to inform the Guides. We undertook surveys of international students and providers as well as workshops with various stakeholders. 

Bio note: Professor Jill Blackmore AM PhD FASSA undertakes research from a feminist perspective of education policy and governance; international and intercultural education; leadership and organisational change; spatial redesign and innovative pedagogies; and teachers' and academics’ work, health and wellbeing.

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