The Student Accommodation Association has lodged a submission on behalf of members for the Australian Strategy for International Education Consultation Paper.
The submission included key priorities and measures to improve the international student experience, changes to make Australia more globally competitive and working together with different stakeholders to create a unique Australian education experience.
Reset the accommodation message by promoting NPAS accredited properties as a clear and consistent message to future international student intakes.
- Improve international student experience:
Education providers could look to increase their level of commitment to delivering the overall international education experience for students, including non–core business elements such as student accommodation.
Align themselves with quality student accommodation providers with the protection of NPAS.
- Changes to make Australia more globally competitive:
Consideration be given by education providers to packaging student accommodation as part of the education offering, enabling students to immerse themselves in a diverse multi-cultural student residential community and by doing so develop the personal skills and cultural comfort required to prosper later in life.
Expanding the obligations of an education provider through changes to the ESOS Act requiring them to provide secure access to quality student accommodation controlled or provided in partnership with an NPAS accredited provider. Required capacity could be based on a percentage of the number of enrolled international students with the education provider.
- Education providers, governments and other stakeholders working together:
- An international education offering that incorporates both living and learning experience
- A set of pre-enrolment (pre-departure) material consistently distributed by Australian education stakeholders to international students offshore to set quality experience expectations and prepare students to have their expectations met.
- Life Skills – student accommodation environments provide students with a supported platform from which they can transition from the close care of their family on to a pathway of personal growth.
- Improve employability outcomes:
- Cultural comfort – student accommodation environments provide Australian and international students with exposure to a variety of languages, culture and food, an experience and opportunity that may not be derived from their learning experience alone.
- Cultural comfort is an important attribute for graduates to acquire to compete in a globally competitive labour market.
- Creating a unique Australian education experience:
Design and promote the Australian education experience around both the learning and living experience.
- Improving community support for international education:
A commitment by Australian international education stakeholders to provide a clear pathway by which international students can set themselves up to get the most out of their international education experience to reduce the risk of exploitation, or isolating themselves (impacting on their language ability and personal skills set development) will improve their capacity and confidence in engaging with members of the wider community.
- Australian education stakeholder endorsement for NPAS as part of the post pandemic recovery strategy
- Broaden the focus to improve the Australian living experience for international students
- Consider how student accommodation can add value to the Australian education offering.
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