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How Universities Can Re-Engage International Students Post COVID-19

In the tertiary education sector, COVID-19 drove acceleration in moving learning online in a segment of the industry that was already using technology to deliver course content. For international students learning from overseas, using technology to stay on track with their expected graduation date has been critical. However, online learning is only part of a full university experience. 

Since early 2022, there has been an increase in the number of international student visa applications lodged for higher education in Australia. With international student numbers recovering, universities should consider how they will engage with students once they are back on campus. Keep reading to learn how universities can create a positive experience for international students after COVID-19 and how technology continues to play a role in delivering a positive university experience.

Provide engagement and learning opportunities beyond the campus

Many international students compared how their countries treated them throughout COVID-19. There’s an opportunity now to ensure your country treats international students well, especially in countries like Australia, where four in five international students remained in the country over the past three years. According to a senior lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Western Australia, providing learning and engagement opportunities outside the campus would be a demonstrable way to show support for international students. Surveys of international students indicate that offers such as fee reductions, personalised care, native-language support services, and internship and work opportunities would make them more engaged with university life.

The devices need to make teaching and learning easier

For students still studying online from their home countries, better use of virtual communities would help international students get a full sense of the culture where their university is located. While providing learning materials and delivering lectures and tutorials online may help students stay on top of coursework, the lived experience of studying abroad is missing. To provide more integration and engagement opportunities, some international students have suggested mixing onshore and offshore students for peer mentoring and group assignments. And with research showing that local students engage more with international students when learning opportunities are involved, providing formal opportunities such as group assignments and peer mentoring is an effective place to start.

Use technology to make on-campus learning more inclusive and engaging

Some international students have stated they feel like customers (not students) due to universities’ lack of holistic cultural and learning experiences. If universities are using technology to help students studying offshore continue their degrees, it should also be used to provide a learning environment that encourages better collaboration on campus too. Just as schools have used technology to create engaging learning environments that make group work collaborative and fun, universities should do the same. This could be in the form of teaching tutorials in a format that requires problem-solving and learning as a group, with large monitors and connectivity with other devices such as laptops and mobiles standard features.

Build collaborative learning environments on and off campus with Quadrent

Creating spaces that foster learning and collaboration are vital to students attending university on campus. A vibrant campus in touch with today’s technology is becoming ever more important as it attracts upcoming generations who value the university experience.  

With international student enrolments expected to grow in 2023, universities should be thinking about how they can demonstrate that they will have positive learning outcomes and a full learning and living abroad experience. One of the most effective ways to do this is through building on the technology-driven systems and processes used throughout COVID-19 to engage international students better and ensure they are getting opportunities to collaborate with domestic students. 

Quadrent’s asset leasing and financing solutions for the education sector help schools and universities ensure they always have the best systems and hardware available for their teachers and students. 

Contact us today to learn more about how Quadrent’s solutions can support your school in strengthening its people management.