International Research Roundtable 2014: Transnational Research Collaboration

September 15, 2014

What explains the rise in global research collaboration? How do institutions choose transnational partners? And how do they align transnatioieaa-research-roundtable-2014-programnal research collaboration to their broader strategic priorities?

These are just some of the key questions that will shape the conversation at IEAA’s upcoming International Research Roundtable at AIEC in Brisbane.

This year’s program focuses on ‘Transnational Research Collaboration’ and will continue discussions from the recent IEAA–APAIE symposium on Internationalisation of Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific held in Hong Kong.

The roundtable includes:

  • leading Australian and international experts in transnational research collaboration;
  • a review of current research in the area;
  • an expert panel addressing the key themes; and
  • a ‘Cafe Scientifique’ opportunity for participants to engage in deep discussion of key ideas.

Key themes

  • What explains the interest in global collaboration? How does it reveal the ways in which knowledge is now produced and disseminated?
  • How do higher education institutions justify and align transnational research collaboration to their broader strategic priorities?
  • How do institutions choose transnational research partners? How do they view and manage opportunities and negotiate challenges associated with the issue of ownership and commercialisation, as well as differences across cultural and academic traditions?

Key speakers

  • Professor Peter Dawkins – Vice-Chancellor and President, Victoria University
  • Ms Laura Howard – Vice-President, European Association for International Education (EAIE)
  • Ms Marlene Johnson – Executive Director and CEO, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Professor Abid Khan – Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Global Engagement), Monash University
  • Dr Chantavit Sujatanond – Senior Adviser, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Click here for the full program and to register.

Tips for Speakers at AIEC

September 11, 2014

AIEC Speaker Tips Infograph

If you are a speaker at AIEC 2014, or thinking of submitting an abstract in the future, these presentation tips may prove useful to make the most of your experience.

1. Prepare and practice

We encourage you to practice your presentation, probably out loud and if you can manage an audience, even better! Attempting to ‘wing-it’ is not recommended, and is one of the biggest mistakes. People who appear to be “winging it” are often very well prepared.

When you know you have to give a presentation – rehearse out loud with all the equipment you plan on using and revise as necessary.

Practice with a timer to ensure you stick to your allocated time, and allow time for the unexpected, or use a video camera to replay your speech and improve on it.

Prepare some possible questions that you think you might get asked, or have some prepared to give to your session chair to ask (if no one from the audience has any questions).

Preparation and knowledge of your material is a confidence booster, and your audience will appreciate that you are in control of your presentation (not the presentation in control of you!).

If you are speaking on a panel, make sure you have spoken to the panel moderator and know what topics and questions will be discussed and what your contribution will be.

2. Know your audience

Understanding the AIEC audience is an essential ingredient to delivering a great presentation, as you need to communicate your message to a specific group of people. Visit the “See Who’s Coming” page on the conference webpage for a description of who attends the conference and a download the delegate list.

3. Beware of ‘Death by PowerPoint’

While we don’t discourage the use of visual aids, make sure you don’t fall into the ‘Death by PowerPoint’ trap. Endless slides, full of text in tiny font is not really a good idea. A good rule of thumb when using slides is to stick to roughly 1-2 slides per minute of speaking. Also, use the slides as cues for your speech – if you use too much text, the audience will get distracted and read from the slides instead of listening to you!

4. Engage your audience

Try not to read from a script as it will sound flat and boring. If you practiced your speech, it will sound natural and you will be able to use eye contact with the audience. This will also allow you to check if anyone has questions, or to see how people are reacting to the information you are presenting.

A good speaker can sense when the audience is engaged and when they’re not, and carefully adjusts his or her tone, speed, and deliberate pauses throughout the presentation, and may even skip content when necessary.

Some delegates are happy simply listening to what the speaker has to say, and others expect to be ‘entertained’ – While we don’t expect our speakers to be professional ‘comedians’ or ‘entertainers’ (dancing and singing should be avoided!) ensure that you allow for some audience interaction either before, during or after your presentation. For example, some presenters like to ask some questions at the start to get a better idea of who is in the audience, and may do this to get an understanding of the level of experience or the main sector or key interest area representation in the room.

5. Don’t make inappropriate jokes, comments or remarks

AIEC is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion. We strongly advise speakers against making any derogatory or discriminatory remarks during their presentation. To avoid any uncomfortable situations and to avoid any misinterpretations of your remarks, when in doubt, please stick to the script!

6. Stick to your time

Please ensure that your presentation does not go over your allotted time, as every minute that you go over your maximum presentation time is a minute less for other speakers. Therefore, we ask that all speakers be respectful towards their fellow session speakers. All sessions will start and stop on time, and this will be strictly enforced by the session chairs and moderators. Conference crew can assist with time notifications, and ‘time remaining’ signage will be provided in the conference rooms.

7. Take care of logistics on arrival

Speakers Presentation Centre

Speakers Preparation Room at BCEC

While we all like to praise the use of technology when things go nicely, we get frustrated when the video doesn’t play, the audio doesn’t work or the slides don’t show.

To ensure things run smoothly on the day, and to avoid any technology issues, make sure you visit the Speakers Preparation Room (Room 10, Mezzanine Level) at least two hours before your session. There will be a technician and an IDP Conference Crew there to help you upload and network your PowerPoint. If you are planning on playing a video, let them know and they will ensure that everything is set-up to avoid any possible delays during your session.

Then, you can relax and enjoy the rest of the conference until its you’re time to shine!

8. Don’t give us a sales pitch!

Speakers from specific companies or company representatives that may appear on the program are chosen because they are bringing lessons learned from a peer-to-peer perspective, and not because they are delivering a sales pitch. The main challenge for you, especially if you work in the PR or marketing department of your organisation, will be to figure out how your talk can contribute to the industry, and articulate that. It’s about what you’ve learned, not about how great your product is.

9. Leave time for Q&A

Audience interaction is very important, and we suggest that you leave 15-25% of your total allocated time to allow for questios from the audience. If you or your session chair are on twitter, let the audience know this at the start of your presentation so you can monitor questions online as well as from the audience.

However, don’t linger on any question for too long. If you feel the audience is wanting more, suggest continuing the conversation outside of the session, perhaps in the Speakers Corner in the Exhibition Hall.

Last but not least, here’s a great blog on ‘Tips for Getting More Tweets as A Conference Speaker’ – Follow us @AIEC or use the conference hashtag #AIEC2014!

Visit the AIEC Speaker Information page on the website to download the Speaker Information and Guidelines.

Good luck and see you soon!

Behind the scenes with Louise Goold: Building the AIEC program

July 23, 2014

This week, I caught up with Louise Goold, Manager for Engagement at Monash University’s Faculty of Education and Director of Murray-Goold International. Louise has been working alongside the AIEC Committee for 12 years now, and continues to help us deliver a great program offering to all our AIEC delegates.

Louise, tell us a bit more about what you do and your background in international education.


Louise Goold

I’ve been in international education since about 1987. I started by working with what was AIDAB (then AusAID and now DFAT) and later moved on to senior international education roles at Flinders University, British Council and Swinburne University. Now I work at the Faculty of Education at Monash, looking after their engagement projects.

So, tell us when did you first get involved with AIEC and what has been your role?

I have probably been attending AIEC since 1990, but I have been helping out with the program since 2003.
My role is to sit alongside the committee to provide expert advice about content in the program, provide ideas for content and sessions and then help identify and invite speakers to participate. We start off by developing a theme for the conference and identifying key topics and issues that are current, important and need to be addressed. We then look at the feedback from the delegate survey and brainstorm ideas for panels and presentations.
After the call for proposals closes, reviews are done and proposals accepted, we then relook at the whole program and identify content gaps, i.e. missing topics that haven’t been filled through submitted papers. If we feel we need a session on a topical or emerging issue on international education, I then work with the committee to build those sessions and get them into the program.

We all know that building a program can be challenging. What are the major challenges for you?

STEP 4 Looks pretty good

Where it all comes together

To me the biggest practical challenge is the scheduling – making sure that we are not scheduling sessions on a similar topic at the same time, and doing our best to ensure that all the sessions scheduled in the same time slot are varied and cover as many sectors and topics as possible.

Another challenge, but also what makes AIEC so special, is that AIEC caters to all sectors, covers a broad range of topics and is suitable to industry veterans as well as newcomers to the industry. We do our best to make sure that we have a good balance of topics that will appeal to a wide audience, but also provide a forum for more niche topics to be presented as well. Some sessions are particularly focused and cover only one topic and one sector, but other sessions present the opportunity for a cross-sectoral perspective. Both types of sessions are equally valuable and provide a great opportunity for professional development, but when sessions don’t fall neatly into one particular category, it’s not easy for scheduling!

Can you give us an example?

We have sessions that focus specifically on the school, VET, Higher Ed or English language sectors. To balance that, we also have sessions like ‘Just what does the future hold for international education in Australia?’ that brings together representatives from all the peak bodies in Australia to discuss common challenges and provide their views on a particular issue affecting international education today.

This year we have offered a few speakers the opportunity to present a poster. We know that their presentation might only be relevant to a small percentage of delegates, so by presenting a poster, the topic still gets covered at the conference, and delegates still get to talk and meet with the poster presenters. Posters this year focus on a range of topics, including research, mobility, etc.

We have more plenary sessions this year. Is there a particular reason why?

Sometimes we have really interesting high level speakers that we’re putting up against other equally important sessions and speakers. This is unfair for the delegates who have to miss out on something, as well as for the speakers who have to present at the same time! So this year we made a deliberate decision to have a few more plenaries, particularly ones we think will appeal to all delegates, regardless of their sector or key interest area.


Virginia Trioli

The student panel “Inventing their own futures – a conversation with international students” is one example. It’s important for all of us to take the time to sit down and listen to what international students have to say, and we didn’t want delegates to miss out on this. I’m really looking forward to hearing students from different backgrounds and at different stages of study, share their experiences with acclaimed journalist and TV anchor, Virginia Trioli.

Some of the panels you help put together are what we call the ’In focus’ series. Can you tell us a bit about what delegates can expect if they attend one of these ‘In focus’ sessions?
As the name suggests, the session focusses on one particular country or region. Each year, we try to identify a country or region that is quite new or emerging in international education, or we revisit ones where there have been new developments. For example, in the ‘In focus’ Saudi session this year, delegates can expect to get a cross-section of views from student recruitment through to projects, consultancies and research opportunities, as well as gaining insight into how things work in the region and some of the challenges and realities on the ground in working within that market.


Top tip: Read the program in advance!

Just to finish off, what’s your top tip for delegates to get then most out of the conference?

To get the most out of the conference program, take the time to actually read the program. Session descriptions are up on the website, so you can read the session descriptions and the speaker bios in advance, and then you can do the same when you arrive at the conference and receive the printed program. At the very least, flick through the pages, and identify the key sessions that are most relevant to you.

If you’re there with colleagues from your same organisation, coordinate with each other so that you’re not all sitting in the same session and you can actually spread that expertise and that knowledge around and meet up later to share what you’ve learned.


The preliminary conference program is now available online. To receive updates on the conference program and other important news about the conference, subscribe to our enewsletter or follow us on Twitter @AIEC, hashtag #AIEC2014.

A message from the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Graham Quirk

July 9, 2014

I am delighted to welcome all AIEC 2014 delegates to Brisbane.

We are ‘Australia’s New World City’ and our growing global reputation as a destination for educational excellence is attracting thousands of international students to Brisbane each year.New Graham Headshot_ small

Currently we have around 75,000 international student enrolments in universities, state and private high schools, private colleges, TAFEs and English language schools across the city. This year, Brisbane welcomed students from all corners of the globe including China, India, USA, Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Colombia and Taiwan.

In 2012, international students generated $2.8 billion for the city’s economy and supported 20,000 (full-time equivalent) local jobs, making it Brisbane’s biggest export market. Their presence creates a cosmopolitan and vibrant city and they also strengthen our network with cities around the globe, creating lifelong relationships.

The Study Brisbane program is the proud city partner for AIEC this year. Brisbane City Council’s economic development board – Brisbane Marketing, runs Study Brisbane to support current and future international students.

Other initiatives of the Study Brisbane program include the City Welcome Festival, the Brisbane International Student Ambassador program and regular friendship ceremonies hosted by myself.

The International Student Ambassador program was established in 2009 and harnesses the global reach of our international students to spread the word on all the cultural, business and investment opportunities our city has to offer.
Brisbane’s educational providers are consistently ranked among the world’s best and combined with a strong economy, affordability, beautiful sub-tropical weather and a safe environment, it’s no wonder more students are choosing to study here.

I look forward to welcoming all AIEC delegates at the AIEC Welcome Reception, sponsored by Study Brisbane, in October.

Graham Quirk
Lord Mayor of Brisbane

Read Lord Mayor’s bio here

Meet Helen Zimmerman, AIEC Committee Member

June 16, 2014
Helen Zimmerman

Helen Zimmerman, AIEC Committee Member & President of IEAA

Last week, Helen Zimmerman, President of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) and latest member to (re)join the AIEC Committee was in town. We caught up for a few minutes to discuss Helen’s background in international education, the IEAA and what she’s most looking forward to at this year’s AIEC. Here’s how it went…

Could you tell us a bit about what you do?

My current role is heading up Government and Stakeholder Relations for Navitas, which I’ve been doing for just about one year now. However, before that, I headed up their division for English language delivery for international and domestic students, migrants and refugees for many years, and loved it.

How long have you been involved in international education?

I guess I’ve been involved in international education since the early nineties. I joined ACL in 1994, and in those days the company was primarily focused on international students. Navitas acquired the ACL Group, and so that’s how I came to be part of Navitas in 2005. I’m a member of the senior team, and so I’m involved in the strategy and operations as well as external relations.

I’ve also been a director of English Australia and NEAS over the years .

Were you attending AIEC back in those days?

There were two main conferences I use to attend when I first became involved in international education: the IDP Conference (now AIEC) and the ELICOS Association Conference (now the English Australia Conference). Those were the only two organisations giving real market intelligence back then, before we started getting statistics from the government, so the highlight of these conferences was the research and data presented on international education.

Attending the IDP Conference was our way of getting perspective on what was happening in international education in Australia, and of course, globally. Today, it has moved beyond having a purely a marketing focus (research and data presentations), and become a forum were we talk about “all” the issues in international education.

Could you tell us about IEAA and your role in the Association?

IEAA was formed in 2004. The idea was to create an individual member organisation for people working in and passionate about international education, to provide professional development for the sector and create a forum for the sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas. Tony Adams invited me to be on the Board when they first started in 2004, and I’ve been involved ever since.

We were careful not to make it just about higher education. The IEAA has worked very hard and made it a point to ensure the association is cross-sectoral, public and private, with members based in Australia and overseas. Increasingly, with globalisation, we do a lot more now in engaging with other peak body associations, so the debates, the issues and the conversations are happening on two levels. The IEAA supports the whole Australian international education sector, and in the past few years we’ve increased our advocacy role and focused more on promoting the benefits of Australian international education to the community and governments.

IEAA is also about collaboration. There are many other peak bodies in Australia, but we are not here to do what they do: we are here to “link up” and “be a voice across all sectors”. We believe it’s important to work both nationally with these peak bodies, as well as with our international counterparts in other countries.

Over the last two years the focus has really moved towards engaging internationally, driven mostly by the emerging markets such as Brazil and South Africa among others, coming to the table and joining in the conversation.

The important thing to remember is that IEAA focuses largely on the professionalisation of the industry, and this is why the AIEC is so important to everyone who works in the international education sector.

Can anyone sign up to become a member of IEAA at the conference?

Certainly. We’ll have a booth in the exhibition hall and we welcome everyone to come and talk to us. The secretariat staff will be there to tell delegates about IEAA, about what we do and how and why becoming a member is so important. Anyone who is working in international education who wants to know what is happening in Australia and is interested in connecting with international education professionals is welcome to join. And it’s not only for Australians in Australia. For example, we have non-Australian members who just want to keep up with what’s happening in Australia, or Australian members living overseas.

You don’t have to be physically living in Australia to enjoy all the benefits of membership. For example, we are offering more and more webinars now, so that anyone, anywhere in the world, can benefit from our professional development courses.

What are the benefits of becoming a member of the IEAA?

There are several benefits to becoming a member. For example, through direct email communications, we offer career opportunities alerts, important industry updates, data and research information and members also get a subscription to our Vista magazine and discounts on our seminar courses.

Also, members receive a $300 discount on the AIEC registration, and $50 discount on the pre-conference workshop registration. This is a great offer, considering the individual membership costs only $250.

What are you looking forward at this year’s conference?

Well, I usually always enjoy the keynote speakers, as well as the breadth and depth of the overall program. There’s always too much to choose from!

I think this year in particular, I’m really interested to see how speakers talk about innovation and creativity, and how to engage globally. As cliché as it sounds, the world is not the way it used to be, and today international education is undergoing a paradigm shift. I think that education is the most powerful force for change in societies, but at the same time, education is being disrupted by so many things, like technology, connectivity, different perspectives, challenges to business models and the importance of the student voice.

It’s an exciting time for international education, and the AIEC is the place where all these issues will be discussed.

Hope you enjoyed the read, as much as I enjoyed the interview. Looking forward to introducing you to the rest of the Committee!


Get to know the AIEC Committee

May 1, 2014

The AIEC Advisory Committee comprises members from both co-hosting organisations, IDP Education and the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). Together, the eight members bring a wealth of expertise and industry knowledge, and contribute to the high quality program that AIEC is renowned for.

Earlier this year, we welcomed a new committee member, Gordon Scott from Study Brisbane, who replaced Betty Leask from La Trobe University. We have also recently said goodbye to Dennis Murray from LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership and Management, The University of Melbourne, who is replaced by Helen Zimmerman, President of IEAA.

We all know that the success of any conference is largely due to the tireless efforts and contribution from its conference committee members. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Betty and Dennis for their contribution to the AIEC in recent years, and warmly (and officially) welcome Gordon and Helen to the Committee.

We will be introducing each member in future posts, to hear more about them and what we can expect at this year’s AIEC in Brisbane.

Stay tuned!

Josephine Williams

IELTS Research Grants – Apply Now!

April 10, 2014

Up to AU$70,000/£45,000 available per project

Educational institutions and suitably qualified individuals are invited to apply for funding to undertake applied research projects in relation to IELTS for a period of one or two years.

Total grant funding of up to AUD$215,000 (£130,000) may be provided with up to AU$70,000/£45,000 available per project.

Research areas of interest include test development and validation issues, issues relating to contexts of test use and  issues of test impact.

Applications must be submitted by 30 June 2014.

How to apply

Latest recipients

Congratulations to the successful research grant recipients grants who applied last year to undertake projects funded by IDP IELTS Australia this year:

  • Professor Jill Blackmore, Professor Lesley Farrell, Dr Anne Marie Morrissey and Dr Cate Gribble from the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation at Deakin University, Australia, will investigate the use of IELTS in determining employment, migration and professional registration outcomes in healthcare and early childhood education in Australia.
  • Dr Philip Chappell and Dr Heather Jackson of Macquarie University, Australia, will look at the impact of teacher cognition and classroom practices on IELTS test preparation courses in the Australian ELICOS sector.
  • Dr Aek Phakiti from The University of Sydney, Australia will undertake a study of test-takers’ calibration and strategy use in IELTS listening tasks.

View a full list of recipients

New research

Recently published research includes a qualitative study exploring stakeholder perceptions of the IELTS test as a gateway to the professional workplace for teachers in Australia and New Zealand.


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