Enhancing the Experience & Outcomes of International HDR Candidates: A guide for Research Training Managers

International HDR candidates and their supervisory teams have become increasingly diverse and intercultural. This diversity requires new ways of thinking about, and supporting, HDR training in universities.

Research training managers play a crucial role in ensuring the success of all HDR candidates, including those from countries outside Australia. A strategic, whole-of-institution approach is required to build a community of scholars that welcomes the intellectual, cultural and social contributions of all HDR candidates.

This guide outlines eight good practice principles for research training managers and higher education institutions to consider in supporting and developing HDR supervisors and candidates.

It focuses on issues relating to international HDR candidates, though many of the GPPs are relevant to the research training of all HDR candidates and supervisors, regardless of cultural background.

About the Authors

  • Dr Wendy Green, The University of Tasmania
  • Associate Professor Ly Thi Tran, Deakin University
  • LiLy Nguyen, The University of Melbourne

Higher Degree Research

This project was funded by IEAA and published in July 2017. The authors wish to acknowledge the support of Deakin University and the University of Tasmania for the development of this digest and the accompanying guides.

Australia hosts more than 20,000 international higher degree research (HDR) candidates, which constitutes around 32 per cent of the total HDR cohort (DET, 2017). Many universities around the globe are now strategically focusing on increasing their number of international HDR candidates.

International HDR candidates can make original contributions to knowledge and the enrichment of research as well as to the development of cultural understandings and transnational networks in their host universities. However, many of these potential contributions often remain under-recognised and international HDR candidates continue to report substantial challenges in successfully completing their studies.

This research digest, and accompanying guides, explore the concept of reciprocal intercultural supervision. The guides focus on three key stakeholders:

  • International candidates
  • Supervisors and
  • Research training managers.

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