Social impact assessment: integrating international students into local communities

Phil Honeywood1, Rachael Shanahan2

1 CEO, International Education Association of Australia (IEAA), PO Box 12917, 8006, VIC,
2 Director, Study NT, Northern Territory Department of Education, Australia,

How can the principles of social impact assessment (SIA) improve the studying, living and working experiences of international students and at the same time have a positive impact on the local community? Just like a change management process, communication is key with tailor made messages for each audience. Australian macro policy settings on employability skills and safe, affordable accommodation services provision will be discussed as they can be applied at the local community level.  Case studies from the study destination cities of Winnipeg, Canada; Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin, Australia will then be highlighted to show how social impact assessment principles have been integrated with local businesses, accommodation providers and multicultural communities so they are genuinely engaged and can see the benefits of engaging with international students.


Phil Honeywood is a former Minister for Higher education, Skills and Multicultural Affairs in the Victorian Government. Since retiring from politics in 2006, he has held a number of senior positions in international education. In addition to his role with IEAA, he serves on the New Colombo Plan Reference Committee, the Education Visa Consultative Committee and has Chaired the Coordinating Committee which drafted the proposed National Strategy for International Education. He has just been reappointed to the Higher Education Standards Panel.