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Draft International Education Strategy Australia 2015

The Australian international education community is encouraged to provide feedback and examples of specific institutional, state and territory, and community-based initiatives that further the proposed goals.  Draft National Strategy for International Education submission from AIEC Australian International Education Centre click through.

Introduction:

If one scans the whole international education ’empirical field’ to inform an Australian international education strategy, inputs and desired outcomes are limited to selected aspirations or objectives, and preferred or conventional channels for ‘activity’, with some glaring omissions and contradictory objectives.

This submission is an effort to both highlight and stress some of these others elements including more focus upon students onshore or on campus, quality according to students and stakeholders, not managers or commissioners.

Executive Summary of Submission Key Points:

Any outcomes of an international education strategy should be increased innovation, sustainability, digital presence, diversity, productivity, transparency, efficiency and effective means to increase the success of Australian international education.

  • Australia, and the international education sector are no longer in the 20th century, but in the 21st century exemplified by digital economy;
  • ALL students are online, where does your institution appear internationally in related search results? Are you visible?
  • Australian international education focus is upon short term promotion and sales, not long term market development for an increase in diversity;
  • Digital economy requires a move away from equating international marketing with an ‘approved international travel plan’ for ‘offshore recruitment events’ with unclear outcomes;
  • The expression and preference for ‘marketing materials’ needs to be replaced (inc. ESOS Act) by ‘digital content’;
  • Focus on enrolled students’ and stakeholders’ (not just insiders) ongoing views and feedback regarding quality and supporting (mostly) digital international marketing strategy;
  • Need to for industry personnel, commissioners, peak/statutory bodies or institutions, to acquire 21st century digital literacy and skills with commensurate redesign of job descriptions, organisation structures, communication and marketing channels;
  • Peak or statutory bodies can focus more usefully onshore in facilitating CPD corporate professional development of institutions for digital;
  • Outcome is dramatically reduced need for travel with digital communications and marketing allowing savings of $100 million annually, or target 20% decrease annually, from peak bodies down to institutional level.

The result will be satisfied students and stakeholders, continuous visibility in multiple markets, with a commensurate decrease on costs and carbon emissions, adding to institutions’ ‘sustainability’ credentials.

Other issues not addressed:

  • ‘White nativist’ advocates, influenced by the same in the USA, in academia and environmental movement, via (mostly centre left) media and political proxies, demonising international education and international students through (thin academic veneer of) highlighting population growth from impact of the NOM net overseas migration, in addition to perceived visa and immigration issues.
  • The U.K. has cross party consensus to remove international students from the NOM as British neither view students as ‘immigrants’ nor as negative contributors to society, while focus upon the NOM feed a ‘torrid and emotional debate’.
  • Developing diversity, Africa, the only continent expected to have both economic growth and young mobile population by mid-century, is being ignored in favour of Latin America, which is expected to have demographic issues?
  • No evidence of (positive) mainstream media exposure, neither onshore nor offshore about ‘Study in Australia’, something for peak bodies to focus upon?
  • The sector does not look at similar industries for marketing best practice e.g. tourism, but is self-informed, like ‘circular referencing’.

For more information about international education marketing resources and for a blog titled International Education in Immigration Population Politics – ‘Does Australia want international students?’ click through

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