Internationalising Higher Education – Week 3

Growing up in such a culturally diverse country such as Australia, we are surrounded by people from a vast range of cultures and race to the point where we tend to subconsciously overlook the fact of someone being a different race. As a full-time student and worker, I frequently interact with people of a different race and cultural background which is no surprise when considering the almost 800,000 international students that enrolled to study in Australian education in 2017 alone (Australian Government Department of Education and Training) . With this in mind, Australian domestic students often forget the challenges faced by international students daily as discussed in the following video and academic reading in relation to internationalising higher education through learning and teaching.

Toni Ferreira, ‘An International Student’s Experience at an Australian University’, April 21 (2015)

In this video, two international students discuss what it is like to study in Australia and like all international students, they too were surprised with their experiences. This source is believed to be reliable as it explains what it’s like to be an international student from their own point of view, this giving us a deeper understanding to the challenges faced daily by these students and relating to this week’s topic about our own understandings of international students. They discuss, their preconceived ideas of Australia and how their initial thoughts were that Australia is not very culturally diverse, until they came to study here where they found that “it’s a nation that anyone can belong to” and one that encourages them to make friends easily due to the set-up of classes. They also discuss the freedom of studying in Australia and how everyone is more friendly and informal “back home it’s always hi sir, yes sir but here it’s like ohh hi Ben”. This represents the common misinterpretation of Australia and how internationalising higher education through learning and teaching would benefit all countries and students.

Leong, Susan & Woods, Denise 2017, ‘“I don’t care about Asia”: teaching Asia in Australia’, Journal of Australian studies, vol. 41, no.3, pp. 367-379

This discusses Asia aware, what students thin Asia is, their perceptions, and it’s seemed irrelevance among students. As discussed by Woods, the apathy among students in relation to learning about and considering Asia is extremely prominent and how the 2013-14 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes discusses how associations around Asia are still dominant. They then attempting to counteract these preconceived assumptions to encourage students to disconnect the stereotypes and as explored in Said’s concept of ‘Orientalism’ and Hall’s discussions about the “West and the Rest” the distinction between awareness and literacy and how there is still a disconnection between Australia and Asia (‘them’ and ‘us’). I believe this to be an extremely reliable source with the statements of experienced individuals with extensive relations to Australia-Asia discussions and agree on that Asia should be viewed as a branch of Australia’s economy with strong political and cultural ties. Once again internationalising Asia through higher education, teaching students processes of Asia over factual learning and removing the ‘people to people’ ore ‘people to places’ relations that are often projected.

 

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