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Reimagining International Student Engagement in a Globalised World

Brenda Tronson, Senior Lecturer, Chantal Bostock, Senior Lecturer, Casey-Lee Hirst, Lecturer, Nicola Kozlina, Lecturer, University of NSW


Understanding the complex factors impeding international students from accessing institutionally-provided support services, so as to find more effective and inclusive ways to meet their academic, language, professional, social and wellbeing needs.


As at January 2024, international student enrolments are almost 10% higher than in 2019 1 with international students more than 18% of total higher education enrolments in 2022. 2 Yet, according to the 2022 Student Experience Survey published in 2023 (‘SES’), international students’ perceptions of the availability, helpfulness and relevance of Student Support services like academic and learning advisors; support with settling into study; induction and orientation activities; and English language support have all declined. 3 Research led by Professor Ly Tran of Deakin University as part of the Best Practice International Student Engagement Project under the International Education Innovation Fund, has highlighted that less than half of this cohort seek out formal services provided by their university (in contrast to their domestic peers), with most instead preferring to look for support from their family, teachers and lecturers, and then other international students. 4

With health or stress being the most commonly cited cause for students considering early departure from a university programme, 5 it is critical to understand the international student’s experience and why there is a disconnect between the availability of university-provided support services and accessing those services by international students. Our literature review will investigate work done to date in relation to that disconnect, particularly as relevant to legal education, commencing with services concerning mental health and wellbeing.