Australian universities are making campuses safe for overseas students by implementing fresh initiatives and policies. These are aimed at ensuring campus safety of international students. This is in response to concerns that cultural differences and language barriers could result in misunderstandings.
Experts in Australia have cautioned that overseas students could be susceptible to harassment or exploitation due to language barriers. This could make it tough for them to defend themselves. It could also make tough to understand as to what is considered unacceptable behavior in Australia.
An overseas student Forough Ataollahi said that students must be given information regarding consent earlier itself. This will help overseas students to realize what their rights are and how to safeguard themselves, added the student.
Australian institutions such as Flinders University, University of the Sunshine Coast, Swinburne University, and Western Sydney University are offering specialized counseling services. This is to help students who have been affected by assault or harassment.
UNSW Criminology Lecturer said that much resources and time are required to properly implement the initiatives for overseas students. It is understandable that universities often function in a tight resourced ambiance, added the Lecturer.
Australian universities must understand the overseas student groups and their needs. The initiatives must be customized and suitable universally. In person training delivered by experts is needed.
Universities are in fact taking the steps in the right direction. They have launched late night shuttle buses and services for onsite security.
The third largest export of Australia is overseas education. It brings in 22 million USD annually to the nation. Maintaining to attract overseas students must be the chief priority for the nation. Making campuses safe for overseas students can boost these efforts.
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