Mildura Weekly : Friday January 19 Vol 12 No 11
12 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2018 SUNRAYSIA Institute of TAFE busi- ness studies teacher Katrina Watt has described a recent research trip to China as a truly eye-opening ex- perience. Katrina spent two weeks in Chi- na in November last year investigat- ing international education, name- ly ways of increasing the number of international students choosing to study in regional Victoria. She explored some of the strat- egies and techniques used to effec- tively support students from their first introduction to education and training, through to higher educa- tion, employment and life-long learning. The trip was made possible thanks to the International Special- ised Skills Institute and Department of Education and Training Interna- tional Vocational Training Practitio- ner Fellowship, with Katrina among only a handful of recipients named in 2017. “I had to apply for the fellow- ship, and in the end my application was around 4000 words long, so I had to trim it back a bit!” Katrina explained this week. “I had to ad- dress several key criteria, and how the fellowship would meet those criteria. “I also had to take part in a se- lection process, including a panel interview – I was interviewed by representatives from the Depart- ment of Education, the Higher Education Skills Group and from the Skills Institute – so it was quite intense.” The selection process took six weeks to complete, with Katrina also required to supply letters of support from industry. Data collected by the Austra- lian Department of Education and Training Research Snapshop in 2016 showed that a total of 209,146 international students studied in Victoria. Only 5102 international students, or 2.4 percent of that number, however, chose to study in regional Victoria. “The main aim of my research is to establish a ‘best practice’ model to assist in increasing the number of international students who study in Sunraysia, as well as other re- gional training organisations in re- gional Victoria,” Katrina said. “As part of the fellowship I have to submit a 30-page report on the experience, detailing what I learned and what strategies I’ve encoun- tered. “Although my research focussed on the accounting curriculum and establishing a relationship with a college in China, I believe the prac- tices and principles can be applied to any country and across different areas of study. “There’s lots of information around on how to assimilate into community, the economic benefits, providing appropriate accommoda- tion, and also information on the importance of international stu- dents undertaking some form of work experience. “But there’s no one-stop shop for everything, and there’s noth- ing written that looks at the edu- cation these students have already received, and how that’s being de- livered.” Through Katrina’s travels, she was able to investigate more specifi- cally the accounting curriculum in place across many parts of China, comparing her own teaching meth- ods to those used overseas. “I met with teachers and for- mer students who have studied in Australia,” she said. “The subject of accounting itself is very similar to what we have here. “The main difference is around tax and accounting standards due to the different laws in place, how- ever subjects and techniques are very similar. “However, their (the Chinese) delivery method is very different, and my report will focus on how to transition international students from their style of learning to how we do things here. “In China a lot of the classes were lecture-based, where they were given all of the information, with some of the colleges even provid- ing time in class to complete assess- ments. “In Australia we have smaller class times for example, and work- shops, or a blended learning envi- ronment. • Continued next page China trip to open door for By Vinnie Rodi firstname.lastname@example.org @MilduraWeekly @MilduraWeekly • OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Sunraysia Institute of TAFE business studies teacher Katrina Watt has described her recent trip to China as a truly eye- opening experience. Katrina’s trip was made possible thanks to the International Specialised Skills Institute and Department of Education and Training International Vocational Training Practitioner Fellowship, with the aim to investigate ways to attract international students to regional Victoria. Katrina is pictured ABOVE with former SuniTAFE international student ‘Selena’ and LEFT, attending an English class in Dali.
Friday January 12 Vol 12 No 10
Friday January 26 Vol 12 No 12