Largest student mobility program in Australia

November 19, 2018
One in three students undertake a global mobility experience before they graduate


The University of Sydney now has the largest student mobility program of any university in Australia, doubling in size since 2014.

In a survey of 37 Australian universities, the University of Sydney has been found to have the largest student mobility program in Australia. Published on Monday, the report by the Australian Universities International Directors’ Forum found the University of Sydney student mobility program was both the largest in terms of size and in the proportion of the student body that had an international experience as part of their degree in 2017, with more than 4,400 students participating in the student mobility program as part of their degree.

“In this globalised economy, experience overseas is vital for our students. Studying abroad equips our students with the skills they need for the jobs of the future, such as intercultural and interpersonal communications skills, problem solving, curiosity and tolerance,” Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Pip Pattison said.

“My message to students is to see and experience the world. The lessons you learn from an internship with Tech Mahindra in India or while studying Chinese at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, or when meeting with disability rights NGOs in Jakarta will be just as important as the lessons you learn in a lecture in Sydney.

“To ensure all our students get the opportunity to undertake a short- or longer-term mobility experience, the University is seeking to provide mobility scholarships for at least half our student mobility opportunities; through government, industry and university funding as well as philanthropy.”

During her Bachelor of Science (Advanced) degree, Emily Blackburn took part in two semester long study abroad programs and three short-term in country language programs.

“International experiences not only allow us to cross physical geographical borders, but more importantly, cultural borders and gaps of understanding,” Emily said.

“I am passionate about improving the quality of life and accessibility of dental services for individuals in rural parts of Southeast Asia and Australia. As such, I have chosen to embark on my current degree, which will equip me with the technical expertise to do so.”

The University has student exchange agreements with around 290 partner universities from 43 countries. The 2017 report found that China is the top destination for outbound mobility students from the University of Sydney. Other popular countries included the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Canada.

To further increase the number of international experiences available, the University of Sydney today signed a Super Partnership Exchange agreement with the University of Toronto committing to increase the number of student exchanges between the two institutions to 100 students per year.

Bachelor of Design in Architecture student Sophie Peterson on exchange in Toronto.

Bachelor of Design in Architecture student Sophie Peterson went on a semester long exchange to the University of Toronto earlier this year.

“Exchange was something I’ve always wanted to do and was a huge motivation to pursue tertiary education in itself. It’s a pathway to creating global connections and experiencing the world outside the bubble you’ve always lived in,” Sophie said.

“I visited over 40 cities during my exchange and now feel like I can really do just about anything on my own. You become so confident and independent. I realised the value in taking every opportunity to speak to new people and really appreciating each moment for what it was. I honestly believe I would be a completely different person if I hadn’t gone on exchange.”


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