I attended a Policy Roundtable at the Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney today discussing best practice in student mobility.
With the increase in New Columbo Funding over coming years the area of outbound mobility will take on increasing importance at UWS and across the university sector. Some key issues which the forum raised as key challenges for mobility in coming years;
Student recruitment – simply offering an outbound mobility experience does not guarantee student participation. We need to become more innovative in the way we encourage our students to consider participating in an outbound mobility experience. There needs be more focus on the employability benefits and less on the location.
Sustainability – Outbound mobility experiences need to be sustainable year to year to capitalise on the initial investment to set them up and to maximise established relationships. Outbound mobility should not be dependant on receiving New Colombo funding
Workloads – Consideration needs to be given to the workload which is offered to staff for participation in an outbound mobility experience. The role of professional staff at the university and in country is also an area which needs to be given more consideration
Scaleability – as universities increase the number of outbound mobility experiences they will need to look to ways of gaining efficiencies and synergies that minimise duplication of administrative tasks and maximise the number of participating students
There was also strong support for the development of industry standards relating to outbound mobility especially in relation to areas of risk management. The EPITOME project I am co-leading with Tonia Gray and team members Colin Sheringham , David Cole and Anne Power will be looking to provide some industry best practice standards which will assist meet some of the challenges mentioned above.