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Engaging with Australian alumni in Brazil

Over the last 50 years, more than 2.5 million international students studied at an Australian education institution. This includes more than 100,000 Brazilian students that enrolled with an Australian university, English language institute, technical institution or a school.

The way that Brazilians view Australia is changing, however, the general public’s knowledge of Australia as a top-12 source country of scientific publications or as a major destination for international students is still low. In order to change these perceptions, the Australian Embassy is committed to working with the Brazilians citizens that have studied in Australia. These students, researchers and scientists are the best ambassadors for Australian education as they have developed an appreciation and understanding of Australia as a welcoming country, as a provider of world-class education, and as a research partner of choice.

That those international students that come to Australia enjoy their experience was evidenced by the 2016 International Student Survey. The survey showed that 89% of the 65,000 students surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience in Australia. In addition, 74% of respondents indicated that Australia had been their first choice for international study.

In 2016, the Australian Government launched the Australia Global Alumni Engagement Strategy 2016 – 2020. The strategy commits the Australian Government to promote connections with and among alumni as they progress though their careers and become influencers and leaders in their home countries.

In order to engage closely with the Australian alumni community in Brazil, the Australian Embassy hosted the 2nd Australia – Brazil Alumni Leadership Conference in Brasilia in February 2017. The conference brought together 25 high-performing alumni from across Brazil to network, undertake professional development and to workshop ideas around two-way mobility and the continued internationalisation of Brazilian education. The event represented a considerable financial investment by the embassy, but an investment that we expect will bring benefits to the bi-lateral relationship in the years to come.

The presentation will focus on the Australian Government’s alumni engagement and how this relates to Australia’s National Strategy for International Education, also released in 2016. It will use the Alumni Leadership Conference as a case study for how to implement the strategy. The presentation will also present the outcomes of the two workshops that the alumni participated in, including their recommendations for how to take the bi-lateral education and science relationship to the next level.

Author(s):

Niclas Jonsson    
The Education Office, Australian Embassy in Brazil
Australia

 

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