Navitas at the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) 2023: Highlights and reflections

Meeting present and future challenges in international education head on was top of the agenda at this year’s Australian International Education Conference (AIEC).

Navitas leaders and educators were well represented at the conference, which saw over 1700 delegates come together to explore and celebrate the “visionary and transformative” power of international education.

Presenters from Navitas took the stage, exploring diverse topics such as future markets, global student flows, generative AI, and supporting students to connect culturally and linguistically with staff.

Navitas UPA CEO, Malcolm Baigent, who was a speaker on the panel “World in focus: Kenya and Nigeria,” said it was a privilege to share the stage at this year's AIEC with Marie Hill, Bukky Awofisavo, and Alison Dell to discuss policy and market updates in Kenya and Nigeria.

“The conference is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the sector and learn more about opportunities and challenges in international education,” he said.

International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) Convenor, and Director of Learning and Teaching, Navitas UPA, Christina Del Medico chaired sessions on generative AI and professional development and hot topics in international learning and teaching.

She said the conference not only provided a fantastic opportunity for delegates across the sector to come together and network but also to strategise and collaboratively problem-solve.

“At conferences like AIEC, Navitas strengthens its commitment to shaping the future of international education by fostering meaningful connections and exploring innovative solutions to global challenges.”

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Executive General Manager UPA, Morwenna Shahani, who presented on experiences across major international education destination countries and women in leadership in international education, said AIEC presented an opportunity to bring together Navitas and partner colleagues to discuss key issues.

“I was keen through AIEC to bring together Navitas and partner colleagues to offer the sector global perspectives on student mobility through panel discussion, and through a workshop to explore women in leadership in international education - that second topic really drove a lot of conversation,” she said.  

Executive General Manager UPA, Sally Waite spoke on a panel exploring growth and diversity in Australia’s English language sector.

She said AIEC provided an exciting opportunity to “make new acquaintances, have fun reconnecting face-to-face with colleagues, and present alongside some very talented industry specialists.”

Deakin College Academic Manager, Learning Support and Retention, Rachel Maissan presented on the college’s Cultural Contact Program, which involves “pre-departure sessions for parents (with their children), staff contacting students from their area, and events designed to interest international students.”

“AIEC was a great chance to meet interstate colleagues in real life, learn from others in the sector, and bring ideas and insights back to Deakin College and Navitas,” she said.

Curtin College, Director Marketing and Admissions, Cecilia Sacoto-Patel spoke on a panel dedicated to exploring “insights and learnings from frontline international student recruitment staff.”

She said AIEC provided “an opportunity to reflect on the importance of data-driven, student-centric approaches in the student recruitment space that enables us to conduct our operations sustainably through adaptability and innovation.”

Navitas Head of Insights and Analytics (Global), Jon Chew spoke on two panels and led one presentation focused on the topic of global student flows, and the student experience across major destination countries.

He said one of the best things about AIEC is that you get to run into so many colleagues and friends from across the international education sector.

“It also sparks new connections and opportunities to collaborate on topics of common interest,” he said.

Senior Manager, Government Relations, Ethan Fogarty joined John Chew on the panel exploring international global student flows.

Ethan said the conference provided an opportunity to grapple with important headline sector challenges, such as emerging policy challenges, competing macro-trends and decision-making for providers and also provided an opportunity to hear “about the fantastic work being done across our sector to deliver international education”.

Director, Offshore Joint Programs, Dr Fiona Richards, who spoke on the panel “Lessons from delivering online offshore pathway programs” said “AIEC was a great opportunity to connect with industry peers, keep up to date on the state of the industry, and showcase Navitas talent and thought leadership.”

Learning and Teaching, Lead, Learning Designer Dr Peter Matheis presented alongside Lead, Educational Developer Alyce Hogg on designing professional development opportunities and communities to develop educators’ artificial intelligence knowledge and capabilities.

The conference was “an immersive experience, seamlessly blending insightful presentations with interactive networking sessions, catalysing fresh perspectives and forging invaluable professional connections with experts and thought leaders in the field,” Peter said.

 Also presenting at AIEC from Navitas this year was:

  • General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Michelle Von Karlowitz: “’Road Warriors’: insights and learnings from frontline international student recruitment staff”

Congratulations to all our AIEC presenters!

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