Sign up

Have some pie!

Aus: CISA calls for more collaboration to improve graduate jobs

Delegates at the Council of International Students Australia‘s National Conference have called on all education stakeholders, including institutions, industry leaders and domestic students, to actively engage with international students to address the key issues facing Australia’s student population.

Tom O'Brien, acting director at the federal Department of Education and Training, highlighted CISA's increasing influence on policy discussions. “I think what we're seeing here is CISA moving beyond advocacy and stepping up more into a partnership role," he said. Photo: The PIE News

“The next question would be: how can we move and work together to make sure change happens together with the rate of growth of international education?"

Graduate employability continues to be the core concern for international as well as domestic students, CISA said, and called on institutions to also include Australian students in the national level discussions.

CISA national president Nina Khairina told The PIE News that while employability had made some ground with “more coordination among student leaders, industries and communities” to address the problem, the process is slow and further collaboration is required.

“The next question would be: how can we move and work together to make sure change happens together with the rate of growth of international education?” she said, stressing that as Australia’s numbers grow, so will its challenges.

2013’s Post-Study Work Rights Visa (subclass 485) and IEAA’s recent employability guides are the most noteworthy initiatives to improve employment opportunities so far.

“It is essential to learn from current student concerns and to exchange knowledge”

Several industry delegates pointed out international students are not alone in experiencing difficulties with issues such as employability, prompting calls from delegates to include domestic students in future conferences.

“We hope that CISA will play an important role in overcoming the communication gap between international students and domestic students,” CISA education officer Toufique Ahmed Soomro told The PIE News.

Better relationships with domestic students might also help to address some of the welfare issues facing internationals, he argued. “It will play a fundamental role for international students to adjust and understand living in Australia and it will be a great opportunity for international students to know the Australian culture.”

In response, CISA vice-president Dominic Nadvillaveetil issued an invitation to next year’s conference to domestic students and encouraged institutions, “please do bring domestic students as well.”

The conference, Australia’s largest for international students, also highlighted student welfare and making connections with Australian communities as particular areas for improvement.

In order to make significant headway in tackling these international student issues, “it is essential [for industry stakeholders] to learn from current student concerns and to exchange knowledge,” commented Victoria University student Sebastian Au, reflecting the comments of other delegates.

Speaking about how international students can work to get their views across, Khairina urged delegates to continue their on-campus advocacy and to use the AIE2025 Strategy as a means to reach out to stakeholders.

“If you haven’t read the National Strategy, this is your bible,” she told students during a roundtable to discuss the strategy.

“I think what we’re seeing here is CISA moving beyond advocacy and stepping up more into a partnership role”

Tom O’Brien, acting director at the federal Department of Education and Training, echoed the calls for more industry stakeholder engagement with international students and said the conference was “a great opportunity for the sector to hear from the students about the issues that are impacting them and understand how to improve the student experience”.

As the representative body for international students, CISA is gaining influence on the national level, O’Brien observed. “I think what we’re seeing here is CISA moving beyond advocacy and stepping up more into a partnership role.”

The 2017 CISA National Conference will be held in Canberra, which, like 2016 host city Darwin, is seeking to improve its international student share.

Related articles

Still looking? Find by category:

Add your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: All user contributions posted on this site are those of the user ONLY and NOT those of The PIE Ltd or its associated trademarks, websites and services. The PIE Ltd does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.
PIE Live North America

Book your tickets to #PIELive22 today!
13-14 October 2022 | The Hilton, Toronto, Canada

Register here