CQUniversity’s Research Project Wins Big At The Education Association’s Excellence Awards

CQUniversity’s Research Project Wins Big At The Education Association’s Excellence Awards

The CQ University project “Cross-Cultural Engagement with Students from the Subcontinent” was named at the International Education Association of Australia Excellence Awards event.

A team of CQUniversity academics has won the Award for Best Practice in International Education, in the Australian peak body’s annual Excellence Awards.

The award-winning research project, “Cross-Cultural Engagement with Students from the Subcontinent”, was named at the International Education Association of Australia awards event on Wednesday, 19 October 2022.

Led by Melbourne-based Accounting academic Dr Monika Kansal, the innovative project highlighted gaps in academics’ cross-cultural understanding of the growing cohort of international students from the Indian subcontinent (including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and India).

Importantly, the project also delivered an electronic resource kit, a professional development workshop, and good practice strategies to improve educator engagement with students from subcontinent backgrounds.

The multi-disciplinary project team also included CQUniversity academics Associate Professor Ritesh Chugh, Dr Stephanie Macht, Associate Professor Anthony Weber, Dr Robert Grose, and Professor Mahsood Shah from Swinburne University.

Dr Kansal, said: “Our research identified that challenges to the academic success of subcontinent students included a lack of engagement with staff, inadequate critical thinking, poor communication skills, academic integrity issues and unrealistic expectations.

“Armed with a better understanding of the subcontinent student cohort, we encouraged teaching and professional staff to find ways to develop a more inclusive educational environment that builds students up for success.”

By assessing and improving these methods’ effectiveness, the team has embedded improved practices at CQUniversity.

“The PD program aims to raise awareness and educate academic and professional staff about strategies for connecting and collaborating with subcontinent students,” Dr Kansal said.

“At CQUniversity, our workshop is run in conjunction with the Schools in both face-to-face and online mode, and it’s also readily available to external stakeholders.”

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp said: “It’s thrilling to see this project get the recognition it deserves because it is truly making a difference to how our academics and professionals support students from the subcontinent.

“CQUniversity is committed to research with real-world and life-changing impact, and this project, and the passionate academic team behind it, is also helping ensure continual improvement in our inclusive, empowering and life-changing education.”

Associate Professor Chugh highlighted that approximately 150,000 international students from the subcontinent study in Australia. Hence, the educational experience must be culturally responsive and enriching.

He said the project team also “formulated the EQUIP acronym to outline simple strategies to enhance cross-cultural understanding and, more importantly, support staff in adapting their interactions with students from diverse cultural backgrounds.”




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