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Project Information

Focus

The project sought to understand how academic ‘success’ and its achievement is defined, negotiated and supported in China and at the postgraduate level in Australia, and to develop teaching strategies and multi-media resources to maximize the academic success of Chinese postgraduate coursework students studying within their disciplinary context in Australia.

The following resources have been developed, trialled and implemented collaboratively in Australia and China, through workshops and collaborative exchanges in both countries:

  • A model of best practice for teaching, conducting intercultural research, and building intercultural relationships
  • A customised toolkit of teaching and learning materials
  • Associated pedagogies
  • A conceptual framework derived from primary and secondary research that highlights both difference and commonality in Australian and Chinese academic cultures

The project was underpinned by four principles:

  • Genuine collaboration between academics in multiple universities in Australia and China
  • Cultural inclusivity involved inter-cultural communication, a respect for different learning styles and environments, and the development of educational best practices that are based on practices in both countries
  • Customisation of skills and materials rather than a generic approach and the embedding of these throughout the duration of the project across postgraduate teaching
  • A professional development approach which seeks to empower academic staff in both countries by enabling them to learn about each other’s views, expectations, skills and pedagogies

Key outcomes

The proposed key outcomes were:

  • Better prepared students (both pre-departure from China and post-arrival in Australia) for study on masters coursework programs in Australia (notably on communication and media programs)
  • Greater understanding by participating Australian and Chinese academics of the learning goals and ambitions of postgraduate students who transfer from China to study in Australia, the intercultural challenges they face and given this, how academics might assist students to succeed in a new culture of learning and teaching
  • Changed teaching practices in both Australia and China that incorporate a culturally inclusive approach which includes complementary pedagogical principles, methods and cultural understandings
  • Enhanced institutional capacity in intercultural competency, learning support and international collaboration

Partner Universities

Murdoch University

Associate Professor Christine Daymon (Project Leader)
Dr Lindy Norris
Dr Jennie Bickmore-Brand
Ms Linda Butcher (Project Manager)
Dr Yibing Liu (Research Assistant)

Communication University of China

Associate Professor Haixia Yu
Ms Dawei Wang
Professor Jin Xuetao

Victoria University

Dr Maree Keating
Dr Fiona Henderson

Other Participating Universities

Universities which participated in trialling, advising on the development of materials, or dissemination were:

University of Canberra, Charles Sturt University, Deakin University, Edith Cowan University, Medill Northwestern University USA, Monash University, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, Central University Of Finance and Economics China, Henan University, Northwestern Agriculture and Forestry University China, Shandong Jianzhu University, Shanghai Jianqiao University.

Reference Group

Associate Professor Peter Simmons
Professor Betty Leask
Mr Julian Kenny
Ms Tracey Lim
Ms Linda Resnick