As the number of international students studying in Australia reaches record highs, it is being suggested that institutions need to do more to make sure they offer what is needed to retain numbers.

The most up to date figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that in 2017 there were more than 550,000 students from over 190 different countries in Australia.

International Students

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The majority study in New South Wales and Victoria and while they are generally satisfied it is claimed that universities and colleges need to make sure they offer what students want as Australia needs to compete with higher education institutions in countries such as Canada, the United States, the UK and New Zealand in terms of popularity.

The Australian Technical Management College (ATMC), which specialises in courses in business and management at campuses in Melbourne and Sydney, is working to improve the kind of experiences on offer for international students.

Chief academic officer Professor Mike Clements said ATMC was working with universities and VET providers such as the University of the Sunshine Coast, Federation University, Charles Darwin University and the Baxter Institute to improve the experience of international students.

'Our experience at ATMC is that our international students make a significant contribution to our economy that goes far beyond their initial enrolment fees. Specifically, we find that when we connect our students with meaningful learning opportunities, the economy sees a strong flow-on effect for years after they graduate,' he explained.

'The key here is using the unique ATMC managed campus solution that keeps students engaged and connected to Australian business, culture, and education. The concept of delivery is based on a combination of academic excellence and expertise along with a highly focused student centred approach where the student experience is paramount,' he said.

'This learning environment, in conjunction with our quality framework delivery mode, provides a very successful partnership with Australian Universities as a true differentiator in the marketplace,' he pointed out.

He added that to improve international education, new initiatives such as managed campus solutions seek to maintain student retention rates, provide smaller classes and student services, link students to student placements and help educational institutions stand out in the global market.

The aim is to make sure that all degree programmes offered are up to date at all times and relevant to the industry environment nationally and internationally. At the ATMC the class sizes are small, so that students enjoy the learning experience and don't get lost in the crowd.

Staff are accessible and resources are put back into the College to develop facilities and services that benefit students with improvements to teaching facilities making sure classrooms are spacious and equipped with technology. Clements also believes that providing student mentors is vital, as is providing job placements.