Ph.D candidate Anna Kent had an article published in The Journal of Australian Studies with Deakin staff member, Professor David Lowe. The article, ‘Sponsored Students and the Rise of “the International” in Australian Communities’ is now online.
ABSTRACT- Increasing scholarly attention is being paid to the students of Australia’s first wave of international education, those sponsored via the Colombo Plan and other privately funded students in the 1950s and 1960s. There is, however, a need for considering more closely the significance of these students’ interactions with Australians during the course of their studies. This focus on interactions benefits from adding a sense of place—in Australian colleges and their communities—where the interactions occurred. By reframing the focus of the Colombo Plan and subsequent scholarships to the impact on scholarship holders and Australians together, we can see how an emerging, vernacular sense of the international has been jointly produced in educational and community settings. While mindful of policy hopes and fears for sponsored scholarships, this article shifts the focus towards experiences on the ground. It adds to the historical record in ways that are becoming more possible through new lines of investigation and new sources. In addition, it suggests that some of the questions posed by international relations scholars in their analysis of international students as a source of soft power are best addressed in the form of examples of student-local interactions.
Have there been any similar programs or initiatives in Australia since the Colombo Plan that have aimed to foster positive interactions between international students and Australians? If so, how have they been successful?