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Education is among the major aspects of human existence affected by globalization. Institutions strive to place themselves on the global academic map. To achieve this, they offer cutting edge services and innovative programs. Deakin University, one of Australia’s leading universities runs an international student support program that is touted as among the best in Australia. The program is supported by the fact that the University operates on a student-focused culture and is a sector leader insofar as student satisfaction is concerned. However, the university seems to neglect pre-arrival support services for international students. The existing pre-arrival support could do better if a pairing program in which prospective students are linked with current students via social media to facilitate correspondence between them prior to the reporting time.
The advent of globalization has seen education become a global affair. Institutions strive to ensure that they attain and maintain global standards insofar as their academic programs and support services are concerned. The once prestigious and seemingly unchallengeable institutions of higher learning currently face stiff competition from relatively new institutions from across the world.
Deakin University, one of Australia’s leading universities is a good example of relatively new higher education institutions, which are rapidly emerging as formidable forces within the higher education circles across the globe. The institution is globally acknowledged for its superb teaching and innovation, entrenched student-focused culture, and friendly environment (History, Statistics, Awards, 2014). This reputation has enabled Deakin University to build a sizeable foreign student population.
The University prides itself on an elaborate foreign student support program, which takes care of students from arrival time to the time of departure. This is quite encouraging for foreign students especially considering the fact that some of them come from the developing world and may have difficulty adjusting to the new environment and lifestyle at the institution. This report examines the International Student Support Program run by Deakin University with the aim of suggesting possible improvement. It is anticipated that with the improvement, the program will serve international students better.
Overview of the International Student Support Program
The moment a Deakin University International student arrives in Australia, based on prior arrangements, there is always a driver waiting to take them to their temporary residences (Arriving in Australia, 2014). This effectively averts any confusion at the airport and the daunting task of locating an accommodation facility and the institution after arrival. The program further supplies information about all the details of living in Australia. Volunteers are available to assist any student who needs physical assistance while settling in. This assistance covers a myriad of issues such as insurance, banking, legal concerns, and many more (Arriving in Australia, 2014). It is basically all around.
Evaluation of the International Student Support Program
The international student support program run by Deakin University is at best a very elaborate program that goes to great detail to ensure the comfort of the beneficiaries. The University has invested in making the program as satisfactory as it possibly can under the prevailing circumstances. This endeavor has been strengthened by the fact that Deakin University espouses a student-focused culture in which all its services and programs are aimed at ensuring that utmost satisfaction is delivered to the students (History, Statistics, Awards, 2014).
The warm, friendly, and helpful environment that exists at the University is another boost to the international student support program. This is a typical characteristic of the University for which it is well known within Australia and beyond (History, Statistics, Awards, 2014). This hospitality is an addition to the already enabling environment in which the program exists. The international student support program is thus propped by important pillars that ensure that it does well and keeps improving.
However, despite there being a detailed and well supported international student support program at Deakin University, there is always room for improvement. The University seems to overemphasize the post-arrival support services thereby neglecting an important aspect of international student support. While it may be comforting to know that there will be a driver waiting at the airport on arrival, an incoming student can be seriously weighed down by the fact that there is no one she/he knows at the institution (International Student Support Services, 2014). There is a need to address this by ensuring that by the time a student comes in, he/she is already acquainted with one or more continuing students and is looking forward to meeting them.
Deakin University is a relatively new university considering the fact that it is among universities that are less than fifty years old. This implies that it still has the potential to grow in many aspects. Its international student support program is doing very well alongside other programs. However, there is a need for the University to also consider pre-arrival support services so that international students arrive already equipped with an idea of what the institution is like from the student perspective (Information for parents of prospective international students, 2014). In addition, the pre-arrival support services should be designed such that when the student arrives, he/she knows that there is at least one person with whom she/he has an understanding.
Deakin University should devise a mechanism of linking prospective students with one or more continuing students via social media. By so doing, the prospective student begins undergoing some form of orientation long before arrival and when the new student finally arrives, there is at least one person they look forward to the meeting which is kind of reassuring.
Arriving in Australia 2014, Web.
History, Statistics, Awards 2014, Web.
Information for parents of prospective international 2014, Web.
International Student Support Services 2014, Web.