Filling the communication gap with students upon enrolment: How external partnerships assist student services to manage and improve workflow

Mr Gordon Scott1, Dr Gretchen Dobson1

1Successful Graduate Pty Ltd, Ashgrove, Australia, 2Academic Assembly Inc, New York, USA

This workshop has been designed to help ISANA delegates to benchmark the efficiency of their international student service functions. Delegates will learn how to identify which student service functions should be improved, or have new processes applied which can provide scale and increased efficiency. For example, it may become apparent that many institutions are providing outdated career counselling services which are unable to meet student demand. With growing student numbers in Australia and pressure on student service budgets, institutions can no longer service their entire student cohort through 1:1 services. Partnerships with external providers can improve the reach and quality of student services. Academic staff, marketing, recruitment and educational support specialists will be guided through an efficiency benchmarking framework (modelled around the 6 Sigma methodology) that we have designed for adoption by the international education industry. The audience will break into small groups to identify student service priorities, and relevant performance measures will be developed by each group to address these priorities. The groups will be introduced to the efficiency benchmarking framework (mentioned above) that will allow institutions to measure their services and analyse whether those services can be improved by introducing scale and efficiency. We will provide examples of solutions to ongoing and emerging challenges such as the increased demand for student employability measures, ways to best leverage alumni and their industries, managing student accommodation, and improving Work Integrated Learning / Internship placement outcomes. Workshop participants will take away the benchmark framework and the workshopped examples will be written up and made available for publication on the ISANA website after the conference.


Mr Gordon Scott.

Gordon is Managing Director of Successful Graduate Pty Ltd, and offers assistance to education providers and government agencies with an international education agenda across the Asia Pacific region. Gordon launched the award-winning Study Brisbane initiative in 2009 and created his new company in June 2016. With more than 23 years of experience, Gordon has served as a Board Director at the IEAA and as a member of the Queensland Ministerial International Education and Training Advisory Group. He has a Bachelor of Commerce, a Bachelor of Modern Asian Studies and a postgraduate qualification in Technology Management. Gordon is an active member of IEAA, NAGCAS, ISANA, AAGE and EduGrowth. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Dr Gretchen Dobson.

With over 23 years of experience in higher education and constituent relations, Dr. Gretchen Dobson and her team at Academic Assembly, Inc. lead institutions, governments and member-based organizations towards sustainable international alumni engagement strategies and solutions. Dr. Dobson is the author of Being Global: Making the Case for International Alumni Relations (CASE Books, 2011), the International Travel Handbook: Engaging Constituents Abroad (Academic Impressions, 2014), and editor of Staying Global: How International Alumni Relations Advances the Agenda (EAIE, 2015). She was recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the leading “Innovators in Internationalization” for her work at Tufts University (USA). Dobson serves as Board Chair of United Planet, a network of leaders and volunteers fostering cross-cultural understanding and addressing shared challenges to unite the world in a community beyond borders. Dobson received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston College, and her Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. She is based in Port Macquarie, Australia.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.