Workshop 3C
Title: Asian Learners in Australian Universities

A number of universities in Australia and around the western world are seeing an exponential increase in international students, especially from Asian countries. This trend is expected to continue due to the important source of funding that these international students provide, as well as increasing importance on internationalisation of the student experience.

Educators have often reported the challenges associated with incorporating and accommodating students from diverse backgrounds into existing teaching and learning norms and approaches of their institutions. Engaging Asian international students in classroom discussions and collaborative exercises has often been the most difficult for a number of educators, often impacting on the students’ results and overall performance in their courses. Given the importance of the international students, both financial and intrinsic, to our education systems, it is imperative that educational institutions respond appropriately to these challenges.

A number of higher education institutions have responded to these challenges in very exciting and innovative ways to ensure that the international students as well as the domestic student experience is enriched by the diversity of the student population.

This workshop will unravel various perceptions about teaching Asian students and provide educators some possible approaches to engage Asian student more effectively. The presenters are informed by a case study done at the UOW College that explored the differences in study styles and expectations of students from a number of the Asian countries and how it differs from the Australian higher education system. This research also explored the cultural values placed on education by a number of Asian societies and how that plays out within the western classrooms. The information gathered during this research was presented at an International Education Conference in Spain recently. During this workshop important ideas and teaching practices will be explored that can be incorporated within existing western education classroom approaches to better engage the Asian international students while providing a rewarding experience for all. The ideas presented will be useful for all western education institutions that attract large numbers of international students from Asian countries.

Keywords: International students, group-work, motivation.

Pranit Anand is a teacher at the UOW College academic programs. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Education at the University of Wollongong. His research interests include student engagement, intercultural communications, first year in higher education, development of self-regulated study skills and educational technologies.
Didi Kello is a Program Manager of ELICOS at UOW College.  She has been in the ELICOS industry for the past 15 years including at UOW, USYD, Carrick Institute of Education, Hilton International College and three years in Japan.   Her research interest is in the field of educational leadership.  
Last year, Pranit and Didi presented at the UECA PD fest as USYD on the topic of inclusive curriculum.