The transition of international students into postgraduate study: An incremental approach

Year: 2002

Author: Jepson, Melanie, Turner, Tari

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Globalisation presents a number of opportunities and challenges to education. Increased international student numbers, the wide variety of cultural and educational backgrounds of these students and the impact of differing study locations and time zones all act to increase the complexity of the educational environment.

The Centre for eBusiness and Communication, Swinburne University of Technology, Lilydale, is increasingly facing these challenges as it provides Graduate Programs to students both internationally and locally, in face-to-face and online modes.

The title of this paper has within it an inherent error. It refers to the transition of international students, this paper suggests that a refocusing is required to the transition to an internationally focused student. The 'transition of international students' implies a one-sided shift, whereas we argue that all parties within the learning environment should be equally 'international'.

This paper reports current research being undertaken at the Centre into the ways in which the Centre can best support the learning journey of students with diverse experience, needs and perspectives. It details a study of the impact of internationalisation of the student body (specifically the transition and global enculturation of international students) and the introduction of an ongoing, incremental orientation program for international students - both online and face-to-face.