International Education and the promise of a promising future
For a number of years I worked for the Australian Government promoting Australia's international education brand 'Future Unlimited'. The brand succinctly captures the promise touted by institutions and governments alike, that an international education will lead students to a better future, a future of unlimited opportunity. It is this promise that compels students to spend enormous amounts of money on investing in themselves, but are students reaping the return?
Through my work with IAJN's network of over 85,000 international alumni in Asia, I am aware of a growing discord amongst returning graduates that their international education wasn't the golden ticket they were promised.
Overpromising and under delivering leads to students becoming disillusioned and word of mouth spreads. International education brands, whether destinations or individual institutions, are at risk of serious damage if more isn't done to support graduates find employment when they return home. And while many institutions have fantastic graduate employability and industry engagement programs they aren't immune to negative association. Often a student will identify by their host country as opposed to their institution and brand damage can be dealt indirectly. Governments, both federal and state, institutions, associations and marketing bodies need to work together to ensure the promise of future employment is fulfilled.
As Asia's largest network of international student alumni and the only network of its type and scale, worldwide, IAJN is uniquely positioned in Asia to support returning students. Staying true to its vision of connecting people; IAJN plays an important role in connecting graduates with industry in Asia.