Internationalisation is an issue for universities worldwide, as more students are seeking higher quality education often in cultures different to the ones they have been accustomed to in their education previously.
Recent times have seen a large increase in the numbers of international students attending Australian universities. At some universities, international students comprise up to twenty percent of the whole student cohort. Yet university teachers report that they feel ill-equipped and untrained to teach such students. International students themselves report that they feel undervalued and that their teaching and learning needs are often not well met.
This paper reports on research on the experiences of both university lecturers and international students of teaching and learning at Australian universities. This research found strong evidence of a ‘gap’ in perceptions between staff and students about how well the learning needs of international students are being met and a general lack of awareness amongst university lecturers of teaching and learning issues in relation to international students.
The paper will detail the impacts of these issues in terms of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, and the broader factors influencing the learning of international students. It will suggest some strategies for better internationalising not only curriculum content, but also teaching methods and assessment practices. Such strategies will be of benefit not only to international students but also all learners in a diverse learning environment.