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Australia: ELICOS reps put international student experience at the forefront of discussions

Representatives from Australia’s English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector have urged industry practitioners to prioritise making the student experience the best that it could be.

In addressing participants at the annual conference organised by English Australia earlier this month, Tasmania Governor Kate Warner said: “We can only feel comfortable using international students to fund our industry if we are providing a great service.”

Marc Weedon-Newstead, group executive education at UNSW Global, agreed with Warner, saying that educators needed to focus on improving both the positive and negative aspects of the student experience, as reported by The PIE News.

During the conference, industry experts shared ideas on how to improve the student experience for international students which ranged from student safety, cultural differences, and paying attention to students’ needs, in addition to managing their expectations by not over-promising.

Discussions also revolved around recent changes to the visa system, which had many worried due to a backlog of visa applications, causing delays in bringing students in.

However, according to English Australia CEO Brett Blacker, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said the backlog was caused by an unusually high number of applications being made just before the switch, adding that the current delays were a “one-time event”.

Image via Unsplash

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