The Student Health Review: Supporting the health and wellbeing of international students

Mrs Kim Turudia1, Dr Adrian Tomyn2

1Deakin University, Burwood, Australia, 2Bupa ANZ, Corporate and International

International education is one of Australia’s largest service-based exports, with onshore enrolments expected to increase by 45% to 720,000 by 2025. While most international students enjoy their time studying abroad in Australia and achieve their educational goals, a significant proportion experience substantial challenges (e.g., assimilation /acculturation, employment and financial, housing) in addition to educational and study related demands. These challenges can manifest in terms of poor psychological and physical health outcomes. To this end, academic institutions are increasingly focussing their efforts toward supporting the health and wellbeing needs of international students. This strategy is based on a growing body of research that suggests that students receiving institutional support are more satisfied and are more likely to complete their study program. The presentation will provide a case study of an institution achieving measurable improvements in international student health and wellbeing through its collaboration with an aligned health partner. A practical example will be provided on the development and application of a Student Health Review that has been created to establish a foundation from which students can better understand the health risks that may affect their current and future well-being and its potential to impact their educational outcomes and attainment.


Adrian is a subjective wellbeing expert with a PhD in Psychology (Deakin University). He is an Honorary Fellow (Deakin) and a Primary Researcher with the Australian Centre on Quality of Life (ACQOL) and International Wellbeing Group (IWG).  In 2017, Adrian Joined the Corporate and International team at Bupa ANZ, and as Manager, Work and Student Health (WASH) Insights, Adrian’s team is responsible for undertaking and delivering evidence-based health and wellbeing research for Bupa’s corporate and university health partners.  Adrian’s role within Bupa is a continuation of his decade long academic career as a Lecturer in Psychology. Adrian remains an active researcher and has published widely within the international peer-review literature on the topic of subjective quality of life / wellbeing with a specific focus on theoretical and measurement issues, program evaluation, normative group comparisons, adolescent / student wellbeing, at-risk group assessment and the subjective wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.

Kim has been the Medical Services Practice Manager at Deakin University for approximately 7 years, prior to this she worked as a Business and Practice manager for a number of healthcare businesses  including General Surgical practice, Women’s Imaging, Occupational Medicine, Allied Health, EAP services and general practice.    She was a finalist for the Victorian Practice Manager of the Year in 2014 and has received two Vice Chancellors Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Student and/or Staff Health and Wellbeing.  Kim loves the challenges of delvering healthcare in a University setting. She completed her  MBA at Deakin university focusing her electives on  Leadership and Organisational Change.  Kim is currently the Convenor of  Higher Education Health Providers  Professional Focus Group for ANZSSA.   In May 2017 Kim was awarded a Vice Chancellors Professional Development Award to attend the American College Health Association Conference in Austin, Texas which provided an incredible opportunity to her.

Nurse Practitioner model of health care

Mrs Allison Love1, Mrs Sarah  Hesse1

1University Of Southern Queensland , Toowoomba , Australia

To improve accessibility to health services and implement a proactive approach to health promotion the University Of Southern Queensland (USQ) has gone outside the standard thinking and implemented the nurse practitioner model of health care.

The nurse practitioner is a registered nurse educated and authorised to function autonomously and collaboratively in an advanced and extended clinical role. The nurse practitioner has the ability to prescribe medications, order and interpret test results and refer on to other health professionals.

The model has allowed USQ to provide new services, improve health outcomes for clients and provide a very visible, reactive health promotion approach. Through the implementation of this model the service has increased the accessibility to affordable onsite healthcare for students and improved the sustainability of the practice.

The model has a strong student focus in providing a collaborative holistic approach to health care.  The nurse practitioner role brings its own unique skill set and has improved coordination of health care for all clients and removed unnecessary duplication of work.

The nurse practitioner model implemented is a very new innovative approach to health care within the primary care setting and an exciting avenue to move into within the university health sector. This session will discuss the benefits of implementing a nurse practitioner model into the university health care setting and approaches to improving the sustainability of your practice.


Sarah is currently the Nurse Practitioner at the University of Southern Queensland. Sarah is based in Student Services and has 15 years nursing experience including Intensive Care and Primary Health Care. Sarah’s past study includes Master of Nurse Practitioner Studies, Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Nursing and a Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health.  Sarah is passionate about patient health care and has a special interest in sexual health, skin cancer, chronic disease management and cardiovascular disease.  Allison Love is currently the practice manager of the Health Service within Student Services at the University Of Southern Queensland. Allison is a qualified registered nurse and diabetes educator and has been  involved in primary care for over 25 years in both clinical and management roles within general practice.

Supporting students through financial hardship: A continuous improvement perspective

Ms Vanesa Duran1, Ms Elen Shute1, Mrs Helen Laity

1Flinders University Student Association, Bedford Park, Australia

Student Assist assesses applications for interest-free loans of $500 from students who require assistance to meet study-related expenses. The ultimate purpose of this University scheme is to ensure students remain fully engaged with their studies. To review our internal practices and identify potential red flags when assessing students’ ability to repay this loan, we have reviewed student demographic and financial data for the 167 loans made in 2015–2017. To be approved for a loan, students must demonstrate the ability to make fortnightly repayments of $25. Although repayments are small, data showed that 63% of students defaulted on payment at least once, many of them defaulting more than once (mean 2.8; range 1-10). Of those who defaulted, >60% defaulted early (within the first 60 days). Defaults automatically cause the University to place a sanction on a student’s account, meaning they cannot access library resources, assessment results or have the ability to enrol until the outstanding payments are made. This is stressful and hinders academic progress. Having identified high rates of defaults, we aim to now compare the characteristics of students who did default with the 37% who successfully made all repayments. The aim is to target loans towards students most likely to be able to repay, and identify alternative forms of financial assistance for those likely to be placed in additional financial hardship by being provided with an inappropriate product.


Vanesa is the Team Leader of Student Assist, the Advocacy and Welfare arm of Flinders University Student Association.  Vanesa has over 10 years experience working in the Higher Education sector and combines a passion for student engagement as well as student success and wellbeing.



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.