Guidelines for Developing Overseas Programs for Students

These guidelines are a resource for university staff, who are planning, developing, or implementing in-country or remote/online activities for students. These include, but are not limited to, study tours, work experience (internships and clinical placements), short-term study, research, competitions, student exchange.

TIP: It is good idea to consider the desired features of a program at least 12 months before implementation.


Returning to travel and managing overseas programs

While the Australian Government’s recent announcements have undoubtedly been positive for the eventual resumption of normal activities, there are many uncertainties which currently make it difficult to set a timeline for the return of in-country learning abroad experiences for students.

Due to the amount of lead time required to design and deliver overseas programs, it is expected the resumption of in-country activities will commence from mid-2022, depending on the host location. In addition, the Australian Government and Western Sydney University have introduced a range of policies that need to be considered, before any travel commences.

If you are currently managing or developing a Learning Abroad experience for students, remote or in-country program, please know that Western Sydney International is working on the 'Return to Student Travel Strategy' in consultation with key stakeholders and detailed information will be made available as soon as the new guidelines are approved by the appropriate channels.

These guidelines will be regularly updated to reflect the Return to Student Travel Strategy.


CONTENT


1. Policy

Western Sydney International (WSI) is responsible for the assessment and screening of all proposed international programs and partnerships across the University. By utilising fixed processes, the WSI Go Global team supports project leaders to align their projects with the following University and Australian Government policies and processes:

Student Mobility Policy | International Partner Providers | Critical Incident Guidelines | Travel  | Foreign Interference | Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) | Child Protection | Modern SlaveryEnvironmental and Social Safeguard | Compliance

  • All projects must have a Western Sydney International Project and Risk Assessment (see Steps for Implementing a Project).
  • All students participating in a Learning Abroad experience, must register their overseas activity via the Western Sydney University Go Global Portal, prior to participation. Via this process, students complete conditions of participation and comply with a number of policies and conditions.

These guidelines will be regularly updated to reflect the Return to Student Travel Strategy.


2. Go Global Application Portal

Western Sydney University has implemented a web-based platform that provides project leaders with a dedicated webpage and online application process for students. The platform is integrated with Banner and keeps a comprehensive record of all mobility projects across the university (in-country or online). The platform:

  • Provides individual mobility projects with a dedicated webpage and application process
  • Keeps a comprehensive record of all students interested in Learning Abroad
  • Enables students to acknowledge conditions of participation and comply with several policies and conditions, set by the University and DFAT.
  • Assists in training about Conduct, Sexual Exploitation and Harassment, Child Protection, Bullying and Cyber-Harassment, Mental Health and more
  • Provides project leaders with real time information and regularly updates on applications
  • Collects mandatory information for University and Government reporting

For registration purposes and to adequately address risk concerns, all students must submit an application for Learning Abroad activity via the Go Global Portal (see Steps for Implementing a Project).

Note: The Go Global Application Portal will also be addressing COVID-19.


3. International Partners and Providers

Organisations that do not have an International Partner Provider Agreement (IPPA) or Procurement Plan with Western Sydney University are not permitted to promote or administer Learning Abroad programs for staff or students. If you are using an external vendor to support or manage a project, the organisation must be an approved International Partner Provider or Partner Institution - see International Partner Providers or contact the Manager, Short Term Mobility, Steven McDonald.


4. Project Plan and Risk Assessment

The International Office will assist in drafting a Project Plan and Risk Assessment which can be utilised for seeking approval from your School/Institute. The final document is also sent to the DFAT. The Manager Short Term Mobility will discuss this process during a scheduled meeting (see Steps for Implementing a Project). If a project includes local elements or domestic travel, a separate risk assessment will be required. For further advice contact your School/Institute Manager.


5. Steps for Implementing a Project

If you are considering the development of an overseas project, commence the steps below at least 12 months before implementation.

New Colombo Plan

If for any reason a project needs to be changed in any way, project leaders are required to submit a project variation as early as possible. A new Project Plan and Risk Assessment also be be required (see below).

1. Talk to International ☐

Contact the Manager, Short Term Mobility to discus your existing or proposed activity. The International Office can  schedule a meeting to discuss a number of considerations, including Government and University policy, methods of delivery (in-country, online, hybrid), locations, time periods, academic recognition, promotion, logistics, partnerships, and more. Find out about Areas of Consideration

2. Develop a Project Plan ☐

After meeting with the Manager Short Term Mobility (above), you may be requested to complete a questionnaire about your project.

The International Office will assist in drafting a Project Plan and Risk Assessment (Step 3), which can be utilised for seeking approval from your School/Institute. The final document is also sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The Manager Short Term Mobility will discuss this mandatory process during the scheduled meeting above.

The International Office will also prepare a Risk Assessment (below), which will be added to the Project Plan.

3. Complete a Risk Assessment

Developing a  Risk Assessment involves listing the potential hazards and considering the likelihood and impact of an event occurring - see Understanding Risk Assessments. To start the process:

  1. Open up a tab on your computer and go Smartraveller: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations in a TAB.
  2. Open up another tab on your computer and go to the Risk Assessment Questionnaire (TBA)

After completing the questionnaire, the International Office will prepare a Risk Assessment, which will be added to the Project Plan above.

Domestic Travel:  If a project includes domestic travel or local elements, a separate risk assessment will be required. For further advice contact your School/Institute Manager.

4. Create a brochure

Western Sydney University has implemented a web-based platform that provides project leaders with a dedicated webpage and online application process for students. The platform is integrated with Banner and keeps a comprehensive record of all mobility projects across the university (in-country or online). The platform:

  • Provides individual mobility projects with a dedicated webpage and application process
  • Keeps a comprehensive record of all students interested in participation
  • Enables students to acknowledge conditions of participation and comply with a number of policies and conditions, set by DFAT and University.
  • Provides project leaders with real time information and regularly updates on applications
  • Automates processes throughout the application life cycle
  • Collects mandatory information for University and Government reporting

The Manager Short Term Mobility will discuss utilising the Go Global application portal during the scheduled meeting (above).

Brochure Request Form

5. Recruit students ☐

After negotiating the online brochure, the Go Global team will provide a dedicated link and information to support the promotion and selection of students.

Promoting a Learning Abroad opportunity can be a challenge and consequently there are a number of strategies that can be utilised for recruiting students into a project. For advice, see Promoting a Learning Abroad project.

6. Pre-departure ☐

It is advised that all participants are provided with comprehensive information about the overseas activity at least 3 months prior to participation.  It is also essential to have an established health and safety plan that provides the necessary training and information for people travelling on the program. Participants should be provided with pre-emptive strategies for responding to emergencies and crisis. The information should be presented in multiple formats, and numerous times, to ensure the information is committed to memory. Find out more.

7. Implementation ☐

Under Construction

8. Evaluation ☐

The Evaluation process requires the objective assessment of the Learning Abroad program. The aim is to determine the performance and level of achievement. See Evaluating Learning Abroad.


6. Information for NCP projects


Student Eligibility

All students participating in international programs (in-country or online) are required to register their participation via the Go Global Application Portal. See Steps for Implementing a Project > 4. Create an Online Brochure. During this process, students will be fully assessed for NCP eligibility or alternative funding.

Acknowledging the Government

It is a mandatory requirement that the New Colombo Plan is acknowledged in all publications, promotional materials and activities.

To assist with program promotion, monitoring and evaluation, all students participating in international programs (in-country or online) are required to register their participation via the Go Global Application Portal. See Steps for Implementing a Project > 4. Create an Online Brochure

The NCP Secretariat may also seek supplementary information from universities on Mobility Projects. Project Leaders should retain photographs, newspaper clippings, video clips and/or web links documenting a project that can be provided on request. Project leaders are also encouraged to send such materials to the NCP Secretariat at any time. Before sending any images of students to DFAT, Western Sydney University must seek consent from the students.

Student consent will be confirmed during the application process on the Go Global Application Portal.

Project Variations

Western Sydney University is required to sign an NCP Deed for Student Mobility Programs and a Project Schedule with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). If for any reason a project needs to be changed in any way, project leaders are required to submit a project variation as early as possible. A new Project Plan and Risk Assessment also be be required.

Under-performance

Projects that under-perform put at risk the University’s reputation and future funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Under-performance includes failing to:

  • Implement the project approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Meet the deadlines above
  • Using 80 per cent of the total Student Grant funding
  • Notifying WSU's New Colombo Plan International Liaison Officer of any changes to the project.

If for any reason a project is at risk of under-performing and the number of students outlined in the original application is not reached by the proposed departure date, please submit a Project Variation as soon as possible. Consideration should be given to changing the project dates, description, School, project leader etc.

For advice or to schedule a meeting, please contact the New Colombo Plan International Liaison, Steven McDonald., Manager, Short Term Mobility.

Administration Funding

Administration funding offered to successful Mobility Projects is calculated at 10% of the total funding offered for each project.

From the 2017 Round onward, it was approved by the PVC International that half of the NCP Administration funding is retained for the employment of a central resource to ensure compliance with policies and procedures, including expenditure and the collection of accurate information for NCP reporting. The person will provide advice to staff engaged in the delivery of projects.

The remaining half of the NCP Administration funding is transferred to the School/Division project. Administration funding can be used for administration purposes associated with Mobility Project management, including but not limited to:

  • arranging, negotiating and researching details of the Mobility Project;
  • supervising, monitoring and evaluating Students’ progress during the Mobility Project
  • engaging the services of third party organisations which have relevant expertise to support Students to undertake the Mobility Project, and
  • general administration costs.

Transfer of Funds

Prior to the transfer of any funds to the Schools/Institutes, project leaders must complete a Project Plan and Risk Assessment. See Steps for Implementing a Project or contact the New Colombo Plan International Liaison, Steven McDonald., Manager, Short Term Mobility.

Unspent Funds

Any unspent grants including administration funding, must be returned to DFAT.

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7. Videos

Reasons for Developing a Project

Planning a Project

Risk Assessment

Danielle's Story

Pre-departure

Challenges In-Country

Critical Incidents

Returning from Overseas

Advice for Future Leaders


8. Contact Us

For further information contact the Manager, Short Term Mobility, Steven McDonald or schedule a meeting https://wsiconsultation.youcanbook.me/