James Martin and Rob Lawrence were joined by Karyn Kent, Chief Executive of StudyAdelaide, to focus a discussion on the future of cities and the role they play in shaping the international education experience. From infrastructure, community engagement, employment opportunities and support services, cities contribute to our sector in so many ways.
The following topics were covered:
- Feedback on how cities have responded to the current dynamics, particularly around the student experience
- If a pandemic of this scale happens again, what could be done differently?
- Factors that have had the greatest impact upon the experiences of students in a city
- What factors may appear in the future?
- The impact of student unemployment and the accommodation sector
- Should international students become a priority group for inbound travel, what strategies will be needed to accommodate the arrival of a potentially large influx of newly arriving students?
- Will safety be a more important decision-making factor in choosing a city post-COVID?
- Plans in place to help sectors and markets that may take longer to recover
- Growth in smaller cities with more community-like environments
- The return of cities’ reputations
- Cities of the future and diversity
- Challenges in resurrecting the status of any Australian city
To conclude, Karyn outlined the role of StudyAdelaide’s Ambassadors, which is adapting in the current climate. The Ambassadors have taken on the very important role of sharing positive student experience stories and creating a sense of united resilience during this time. Karyn shared StudyAdelaide’s new campaign, centering around the #InThisTogether movement, which highlighted this sense of community.
Attendees were invited to participate in a poll on the following questions:
- How can study bodies or councils best contribute to the current international student experience
- Which amenities/events do you believe international students most want reasonably restored?
- Do you think students will still come to an Australian city if they know that they will have to face some form of social distancing measures?