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‘CET Connect’: transforming the international student experience in Australia

July 2017
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CET Connect sits at the core of the student experience by connecting international students to the CET network, the wider University and its services. Its ingenuity and practicality is undeniable: one platform answers all student’s needs.

It allows students to connect and chat with other CET students and reach out to specific departments of the Centre such as finance, enrolments, counselling, etc depending on their needs. It also provides them with additional learning and support resources and keeps students updated on the latest events at CET, the University and throughout Sydney.

Students are able to register to events, save them in their calendar and check in on the day of the event, to record their attendance. It also provides the Centre the ability to proactively notify students of any classroom, teacher or schedule changes in real-time. This app brings a proactive, data-driven and evidence-based approach to student engagement and empowers the students to monitor their own level of engagement and develop their engagement portfolio through the use of innovative technology.

The groundbreaking innovation of the App comes with the customisation of the platform to answer the particular student engagement needs of the Centre. The App introduces an additional tool which is a platform where students can track their engagement points and monitor their engagement portfolio, linking it to the CET Student Engagement Program. The App is powered by Involvio, a company specialised in campus solutions apps for colleges or universities in the U.S. and Canada.

CET Connect is revolutionising the communication to international students by utilising a mode of communication they are familiar with and receptive to. CET Connect is the Centre’s answer to face the many challenges students sometimes encounter when it comes to student engagement outside of the classroom, many being highly disengaged and disaffiliated to University life and their international experience.

CET Connect is currently in its first iteration, being released to a pilot cohort of 400 international students on a 25 week pathway program. Students feedback on the App is highly encouraging and extremely positive, with students describing the App as “convenient”, “useful”, “great”, “easy to use” and “helpful”. The introduction of CET Connect has seen student’s attendance to events going through the roof, lately reaching one of the highest attendance at one of our student workshops.

CET Student Engagement Program

The CET Student Engagement Program is an initiative from the Centre for English Teaching which relies on a gamified approach of student engagement where CET sources a pool of free activities offered by the Centre for English Teaching, the University and the City of Sydney. Each activity is attributed points, which are needed to unlock levels and earn rewards. By facilitating the access to those activities and bringing the information directly to the students, it gives them the opportunity to be involved and take ownership of their engagement beyond the classroom. It reduces the pressure international students feel when it comes to engaging with other by fear of ‘not doing it right’. The Program aims to facilitate the access to student engagement activities and events for international students. It has been proven that students who engage outside of the classroom are more successful in their lives, studies and future careers. To find out more about the nationally recognised CET Student Engagement Program here

Contact:

Iris Loba iris.loba@sydney.edu.au +61 2 8627 8560