University of Sydney Careers Centre – enhancing international student employability

Daniel Laurence1, Anna Gurevich1

1Career Development Officers, Careers Centre, The University of Sydney

Since 2012, the Careers Centre at The University of Sydney has introduced a number of career workshops, events and programs to develop the employability skills of International Students.  These include a Career Development Program for International Students, an International Student Employability Forum for all disciplines and a panel on “Building your Networks in Australia and China”.  The Careers Centre has also participated in collaborative projects with other universities to deliver a program called Interchange which develops entrepreneurial skills and an International Student Employability Forum for students from all universities.  These career development activities are complemented by the provision of other Careers Centre services and online resources.  Since 2013, the Careers Centre has seen a significant increase in the number of international students attending Careers Centre’s workshops and events.


Biography:

Daniel Laurence is a Career Development Officer (International) at the University of Sydney Careers Centre. He has previous experience in adult education across 4 countries and since 2013 has been working with refugees, migrants and international students as a careers counsellor.

Anna Gurevich is a Career Development Officer (Programs) at the University of Sydney Careers Centre. With experience in Graduate and early career recruitment and Graduate Talent Management, Anna now works with tertiary students building employability skills through programs, workshops and one on one career coaching.

NSW Government collaborates with international education stakeholders to enhance student experience

Robin Daroczy

A/Assistant Project Officer, NSW Department of Industry, NSW Trade & Investment

In 2014, the NSW Government set up StudyNSW to support international students studying in in the state. Part of StudyNSW’s purpose is to engage in partnerships with international education stakeholders.  In 2016/17, StudyNSW supported Partner Projects which provide students with opportunities to develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills as well as opportunities to foster connections with the wider community. The projects were based in metropolitan Sydney as well as regional NSW.  Examples of projects include Intersective’s NSW Global Scope program, which has now provided a work-integrated learning experience to more than 1,000 international students across NSW Government agencies, NGOs and private sector companies, and ‘Interchange 3.0’, a program which is designed to help international students discover their inner entrepreneur and develop professional skills. StudyNSW also provided a grant to support establishing University of New England’s “International Hub”, a referral service for international student. The Hub creates opportunities for fostering connections between students and the wider community. StudyNSW’s Partner Projects acknowledges that student successes and the quality of the student experience are achieved best when government and international education stakeholders collaborate together.


Biography:

Robin Daroczy is a project officer with StudyNSW in the NSW Department of Industry. He has a keen interest in the role of international education in forming enduring relationships between students around the world. Robin recently completed a Master of Politics and Public Policy at Macquarie University.

Increasing international student success through engagement in employability skills

Miss Liz Journeaux1, Miss Emma Hart1

1Studygroup – Taylors College 

Repeated feedback from both employers and graduates indicates a lack of “job ready” skills in the labour market amongst our graduate populations.

Using your initiative, leadership, communication and time management are often seen as “soft skills”. However, under the adage of “soft skills pay bills” it would seem timely to prepare students for life after graduation.

Introducing students to the idea of employability skills early in their academic career can create conflict with pressures of academic achievement however. Creating relevance and appropriate learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom is an achievable challenge for institutions offering a holistic, enriched approach to international education.

Addressing skill gaps by engaging students in the wider community through volunteer opportunities is beneficial to both students and the local community. Volunteering promotes a sense of worth and belonging for our students and provides a wealth of services to the local community. Workplace projects, event volunteering, opportunities for paid work and ongoing volunteer opportunities bridge the gap between our communities and our international student body.

Educators must prepare students early to face the challenges of a competitive global recruitment market. This requires innovation and embracing a widening approach to our traditional view of academia.


Biography:

Liz Journeaux has worked in the International Education sector for over 10 years. She has held a variety of roles in the admissions, marketing and counselling areas of this sector. She is currently overseeing the new StudyGroup initiative of Employability Skills at the StudyGroup Taylors College Perth Campus.

Study Gold Coast Employability Program overview

Mrs Shannon Willoughby1

1CEO, Study Gold Coast 

Study Gold Coast has taken a principal role in Australia’s largest city-wide student employability program, aimed at showcasing career opportunities, facilitating stronger connections between students and industry and boosting our economy. The major supporters of the program are Gold Coast City Council, the Business Advisory Board and education providers including all Gold Coast universities and TAFE Queensland Gold Coast.

This presentation will explain how the Employability program aims to enhance the student experience through promoting the relationship and connection between employers and students. In positioning the Gold Coast as an education city the goal is to keep top talent on the Gold Coast through improved graduate outcomes thus leading the economic growth of the diverse businesses of tomorrow.

As part of this program a key development is the launch of the Student Hub in August, open to all students on the Gold Coast as a place for students to Connect, Learn, Explore and Support. The commitment and funding by Queensland State Government of the hub supports Study Gold Coast’s mission to promote, grow and unite the city’s education sector, enhancing student experience and increasing employability on the Gold Coast.


Biography:

Shannon Willoughby is the Chief Executive Officer and Committee Secretary of Study Gold Coast, the peak industry and city marketing body for the Gold Coast’s education and training sector.

Holding a Bachelor of Communication from Bond University, Shannon is a former senior journalist at the Gold Coast Bulletin. Also the former long-term president of Young Professionals Gold Coast, Shannon is infinitely passionate about the Gold Coast and has been a leader in drawing attention to the city’s issues and potential. Shannon is currently Councillor for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s (CCIQ) Gold Coast Regional Policy Council and board member of Ohana for Youth, Gen-Z Employment and Regional Development Australia.

International Student & Alumni Satisfaction Survey 2017 – results and key findings for Australian and New Zealand Universities

Mr Shane Dillon1

1International Alumni Job Network (iajn), Central Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Education institutions, associations and governments promise that an international education will lead students to a better future. It is this promise that compels students and their families to invest enormous amounts of money on an Australian qualification, but are students reaping the return?

The International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) is the first employment group focused on career outcomes for international students who have graduated from Australian and New Zealand universities. As Asia’s largest network of international alumni and the only network of its type and scale, worldwide, IAJN is uniquely positioned  to support returning international students to fulfill the education to career promise.

IAJN has had over 100,000+ international students, graduates and alumni become members in its first year of operation. Our members have returned to Asia after graduating from universities in Australia, US, UK, New Zealand and Canada. Staying true to its vision of connecting people; IAJN plays an important role in connecting graduates with industry in Asia.

In 2017 we surveyed IAJN members for the inaugural International Student & Alumni Survey. The findings provide valuable insight into the return on an international education and resulting incomes and career outcomes and where your institution stands in the eyes of  alumni after they return home.

Shane Dillon (Founder of IAJN) will present the results of the survey, including key findings and recommendations on how to engage with international alumni moving forward.


Biography:

Shane Dillon is the founder of the International Alumni Job Network (IAJN).  IAJN is the first employment group focused on career outcomes for international students who have graduated from Australian, UK, Canadian, US and New Zealand universities. IAJN provides a professional network for returning international students, a community to engage with industry, events and brands and a job platform to connect with employers across Asia. IAJN engages international students, graduates and alumni to maintain ties with education host countries, universities, trade and industry groups enabling lifelong relationships that strengthen and benefit cross cultural and bilateral co-operation. IAJN currently has over 100,000+ members who have returned to Asia after graduating from universities in Australia, US, UK, New Zealand and Canada.

Successful students – the role of a fair workplace

Ms Louise Peters1

1Director – Strategic Engagement and Stakeholder Relations Branch, Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman, GPO Box 9887, 3000 , Melbourne, Australia

The Fair Work Ombudsman is concerned by the deliberate exploitation of migrants and visa holders, particularly international students, in some Australian workplaces. We all know workplace exploitation stands in the way of the success of international students, affecting their experience of studying, living and working in Australia.

As the workplace regulator, reaching international students working in Australia and improving their employment experiences is a priority area for us. Engendering trust in the international student community and building compliant workplaces is the responsibility of everyone in the community. Fair workplaces are key to successful students and we rely on our stakeholders to help us make this a reality.

Increasing the FWO’s reach and impact in the international student community is critical to ensuring that international students know where to go for help. The development and implementation of our International Student Engagement Strategy has seen us address workplace exploitation by partnering with international students and those providing them with services and support in the community.

Building and maintaining productive relationships with stakeholders like ISANA and ANZSSA, who have a strong affiliation with international students, is vital to our work.

Join the FWO as we discuss the barriers international students face both at work and in seeking assistance in cases of workplace exploitation. We will outline how we are contributing to the success of international students – implementing a range of activities to raise students’ awareness of us and collaborating with international student stakeholders, working to enhance existing services for international students and building a culture of compliance in workplaces employing international students.


Biography:

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent statutory office responsible for promoting harmonious, productive and cooperative workplace relations and ensuring compliance with Australia’s workplace laws. The FWO’s free services for employees and employers in Australian workplaces provide people with reliable and timely information about fair work practices, rights and obligations. It also works with stakeholders to build strong and effective relationships and promote compliant workplaces.

The FWO has implemented an International Student Engagement Strategy which aims to increase compliance in Australian workplaces employing international students. The FWO is raising international students’ awareness of the FWO and workplace rights, and building and maintaining productive relationships and active partnerships with key stakeholders.

Louise Peters is the Director of Community Engagement in the FWO’s Strategic Engagement and Stakeholder Relations Branch. She leads a team working to educate and engage with the international student community and deliver outcomes under the International Student Engagement Strategy which is a key priority for the FWO.

University wide peer programs as a pathway to on-campus opportunity and employment: The missing link in graduate employability

Miss Caitlyn Dexter1

1Queensland University Of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Universities in Australia have undergone rapid change in response to the highly competitive job market that awaits graduates. No longer is a degree considered enough to make a graduate stand-out from the crowd. Instead, employers are seeking confident graduates who can embrace innovation and change and possess high-level, transferable skills beyond discipline alone. In response to this demand, initiatives to embed employability skills in the classroom have grown in popularity, including the successful initiatives of student partnerships and integration of discipline based peer programs. However, little focus has been placed on non-discipline or university wide peer programs that offer additional work-related experience and development in these key skills areas. It is in fact, these programs that offer a unique and under-acknowledged pathway that provide students to on-campus opportunities and employment which achieves greater outcomes for students and the university. This paper presents a university-wide peer program at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) that focuses on building a community of highly skilled student leaders that are capable of taking on higher-level roles at the university through following pathways the program facilitates. It is this focus that allows students to gain transferable skills beyond discipline and contributes to building students’ sense of purpose and professional identity; ultimately enhancing graduate outcomes. While students gain a significant step into the competitive graduate job market, the university gains access to highly skilled employees with a broad understanding of the university context and operation.


Biography:

Caitlyn Dexter is the coordinator of QUT Connect, a university-wide peer program at the Queensland University of Technology that assist first year student’s transition to tertiary education. It is Caitlyn’s own experience as a volunteer in this program during her undergraduate degree that has directed her passion and career in Student Engagement and Affairs.

Welfare assistance essential for students’ success

Ms Emily Yam1, Mr Hassan Riaz2

1ANU Students’ Association, Canberra, Australia, 2ANU Postgraduate and Research Students’ Association, Canberra, Australia

Students often quote lack of time and money as main reasons why they are unable to maintain healthy eating habits. ANUSA has identified this as a big issue, as students’ welfare is the foundation of their success at university. To encourage healthy eating habits amongst students, ANUSA has introduced different programs and events to give students access to free and cheap food on campus.  One of the programs we offer is our Student Meals Program, which allows students in need free breakfasts, lunch and dinner vouchers. ANUSA also runs the Brian Kenyon Student Space (BKSS), where students can access free coffee, tea, and cheap snacks from 8am to 8pm. ANUSA Clubs and Societies also host and free barbeques every Thursday afternoon.  If a student is facing a problem, they would likely speak to a Student Assistance Officer at the ANUSA office, and hence the ANUSA office also stocks pantry supplies, toiletries and grocery vouchers for students in need.  We also run Student Bites, where a local produce company delivers their excess produce to us, and students can fill a bag full of produce for a gold coin donation. During the semester, we also run cooking classes from the BKSS to teach students how to cook cheap, healthy meals.  If food assistance isn’t adequate, ANUSA has different grants available where successful applicants can get money instead, if they are facing financial hardship. This presentation aims to show the effectiveness of our programs at ANU, and how important it is to have these supports available for students in need.


Biography:

Emily is an ANU Alumni, and is the Student Assistance Officer at the Australian National University Students’ Association (ANUSA). ANUSA is the peak representative body for all undergraduate students at ANU with approximately 11,000 members. Emily assists undergraduate students with issues pertaining to their academic performance, financial circumstances and personal matters.She is interested in mental health promotion and aims to centre her projects around mental health awareness.

Hassan is the Student Assistance Officer for both undergraduate and postgraduate student associations at ANU. He was a postgraduate student and PARSA Environmental Officer at ANU prior to starting his role with ANUSA and PARSA. He has also served as an executive of the Council of International Students Australia- the peak body for international students in Australia. Being the recipient of residential scholarship, he has keen interest in residential campus life. In his current role, he seeks gathering information regarding student welfare from diverse sources and directs his energy to consolidate this information to make it presentable for students and other stakeholders.

Teaching mindfulness to students online

Mr Geoffrey Simmons1, Dr Mariagrazia Bellio1, Rev Judy Redman1

1Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona, Australia

This paper presents a 2016 pilot study investigating whether the use of Mindfulness-based techniques taught on-line could enhance the wellbeing and academic performance of university students. The paper presents: the content of the program that was delivered; the challenges of preparing and delivering the course in an online environment; the learnings from the design and delivery process and the research outcomes. The study had three aims: (1) to determine benchmark data of wellbeing, focused attention and academic motivation across the Charles Sturt University (CSU) student population; (2) to determine whether mindfulness training affected the emotional wellbeing, focused attention and academic performance of university students; and (3) because around 60% of CSU students study by distance, to examine the effectiveness of two different on-line modes for delivering Mindfulness training, one in real time and one self-guided. Based on research findings that “Mindful learning” may benefit students by enhancing their cognitive and socio-emotional capabilities and improving their general wellbeing and academic performance, it used three validated psychometric scales to measure the attention and awareness, wellbeing and academic motivation of the participants before and after a four week mindfulness training course. The results demonstrated three main findings: Mindfulness training may contribute in the long-term to creating a mindset conducive to learning; Mindfulness training may contribute to shifting patterns of motivation for learning from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation; and Mindfulness training can be successfully administered online, both in real time and self-guided. The study was funded by a CSU Student Support Amenities Fee grant and involved a counsellor, a chaplain and a researcher whose combined Mindfulness and statistics expertise helped with the experimental design and analysis of the results.


Biography:

Mr Geoff Simmons (BA BSW MAASW)

Geoff is a Mental Health Social Worker and has been the counsellor at the Albury-Wodonga campus of Charles Sturt University for 20 years, after working in the fields of services for homeless people and family counselling. As well as being involved in general counselling (both face to face and using various distance modes) and being a qualified Mental Health First Aid Trainer, he has completed training in Mindfulness-based Core Process Therapy (MbCPT), has undertaken numerous training courses in mindfulness including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training, and meditation retreats.  Geoff’s role in the research was to design the training course, develop the on-line modules and deliver the real-time training sessions via Adobe Connect.

Dr Mariagrazia Bellio (PhD-Environmental Science, Cert Oriental Philosophies Counselling, Cert Medical Neuroscience)

Maria brings two sets of expertise to the project:  First, she holds a PhD in Environmental Science from the UNSW and has worked extensively in the field of Quantitative Ecology for more than 25 years. She has strong analytical research skills and as part of her research work she routinely undertakes data statistical analysis and interpretation. She has in the past and currently delivers courses on statistical training and research design at a tertiary level both nationally and internationally (e.g. China and Europe).  Second, she has had a strong interest in practices of mindfulness-meditation for more than 15 years. She lived in Sri Lanka between 2005-2008, where she had the opportunity to deepen her knowledge about Buddhism and other oriental philosophies that involve the use of meditation practices. On her return to Australia she completed a Certificate in Oriental Philosophies Counselling and started her private counselling practice employing mindfulness and meditation as a form of therapy. In 2012 she completed a Certificate in Medical Neuroscience with Duke University (USA). In 2015 she was involved, as a trainer in mindfulness, in a project assessing the effect of mindfulness practice on improving work performance. She is currently enrolled as a student at Monash University to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She has a strong interest in developing projects aimed at integrating oriental practices such as meditation and mindfulness with more traditional/mainstream therapies of western Medicine and Psychology.  Maria’s primary role in the research was the development of the research design and analysis of the data, but she will also participated in some of the Adobe Connect sessions to help with monitoring and content delivery.

Rev Judy Redman (BScAgr, Grad Dip Nut & Diet, BD, MTheol Qual)

Judy was ordained by the Uniting Church in Australia in 1987 and has worked as a university chaplain for 19 years at four different universities. Her role as Ecumenical Chaplaincy Coordinator is spread across the Albury-Wodonga Campuses of both Charles Sturt and La Trobe Universities. She has specific training and experience in pastoral care and basic pastoral counselling, and has completed training in Mental Health First Aid. She has also been actively involved in running writing groups for research students using Adobe Connect for three years. In addition, she has been involved in multi-faith/interfaith activities for all her time in university chaplaincy and has attended a range of in-service activities in the area. She is interested in meditative aspects of faith and has made it possible for members of the campus community to use labyrinths.  Judy’s role in the research was to develop specifically faith-related content for the project, to participate in and monitor the technical aspects of the Adobe Connect sessions and to oversee the Ethics side of the research.

A global perspective on wellbeing for student success. Reflections on two professional learning opportunities in China

Dr Nadia Lovett1

1Counsellor at University Senior College, The University of Adelaide

This presentation discusses wellbeing in relation to student success. It highlights perspectives from Chinese university students and educators from all over the world. The main findings of two professional learning opportunities are discussed in this report. The first was a month’s visit to the Southwest University, Chongqing, China. Undergraduate students about to embark on a two year university experience in Australia shared their current understandings of adolescent mental health in China and their hopes for student support structures in Australia. The International Conference on Happiness and Positive Mental Health in Beijing provided the second learning opportunity.  At this conference educators from a range of countries discussed their research and experiences about student wellbeing. The reoccurring themes of the conference were the importance of teaching strengths and resilience skills as well as encouraging students to live simply.

This interactive session will focus on global initiatives in the area of learner wellbeing from both student and teacher perspectives.


Biography:

Qualifications: Doctorate in Counselling: University of South Australia, 2009. Master of Social Science (Educational Counselling): University of South Australia, 2000. Graduate Diploma in Reading and Language Education: South Australian College of the Arts and Education, 1984. Diploma in Teaching: Adelaide College of the Arts and Education, 1979 (Majors Aboriginal Studies and Italian).

Nadia has been school counsellor at University Senior College, (The University of Adelaide) since 2005. She has more than thirty years’ experience in education as a: teacher, school counsellor and university lecturer.  Nadia’s Doctorate in Counselling from the University of South Australia explored the help-seeking behaviours of adolescent girls using digital storytelling as a data gathering tool. She is an active member of PESA SA Chapter (Positive Education Schools Association) and is often invited to speak at Positive Psychology and Education conferences both nationally and internationally.

ANZSSA

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 anzssa.com.

ISANA

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 www.isana.org.au.

Conference Managers

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