Student clubs and student executive as methodological tools

Maria Avia1, Andrew McRae1, Cecilia Cornejo Cabestany1

1 University of Newcastle 


Evidence Based Practice in International Education Services.

This poster will address:

“Improved methodologies and ways for Practitioners to monitor outcomes and evaluate impacts of their programs”

The University of Newcastle International Engagement Team Submission will provide an overview of how we engage international students in the design and evaluation of our programs focusing on iLEAD Plus and community engagement initiatives. iLEAD Plus is the UON Global flagship program for students creating exciting opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, increase their career readiness and entrepreneurial skills and contribute as a global citizen.

Student Clubs and associations as contributors of evidence

One successful approach has been to adopt a student led model of operation. This has involved regular consultation and student feedback with cultural and nationality based student associations. This feedback and consultation has enabled UON Global to adapt previous programs, as well as start new programs and activities that are popular, inclusive and valuable to attendees due to being based on student needs.

iLEAD Plus student feedback leading initiatives in 2016

The international engagement team has a strong focus in creating engagement opportunities that combine elements from the UON graduate identity profile with components identified by students as strategic and meaningful for their future.

These engagement opportunities originate from student feedback and focus into the future, specifically on employability outcomes for our students. Our activities boost our students’ key skills which are fundamental for development. One initiative based on the student feedback and desire for real life learning opportunities in 2016 is a UON Global partnership with University of Monterrey which engaged a team of iLEAD Plus Leaders studying business to evaluate a financial analysis prepared by the overseas students of a public transnational organization according to the concepts learned in class. This offered students from two very different countries valuable lessons within the area of Intercultural communication, business practices, critical analysis and reflective practice; as the project offered an opportunity to translate learnings into real life experience.

This practical learning framework provides students with confidence and promotes the UON students’ graduate identity and employability.The integration of student feedback into engagement activities results in greater participation and challenges students thoughts in connection with the professional work environment.

iLEAD Plus Student Executive model best practice in reciprocity

iLEAD Plus is an exceptional opportunity for University of Newcastle (UON) students to gain experience and skills in the areas of leadership, international awareness, social responsibility and employability.

The iLEAD Plus Student Executive contributes to iLEAD Plus by providing a student perspective and voice on the development and direction of the iLEAD Plus program through reviewing the current program and identifying areas of opportunity. The Student Executive develop and  implement student-led initiatives under the guidance of the UON Global International Student Engagement Team, and assist in the promotion of the iLEAD Program through various avenues including direct promotion at on campus events.

Providing international and domestic students the opportunity to increase their employability skills and to shape student engagement programs is proving to be beneficial to  the growth of the program and  success of related activities.


Maria Avia has extensive experience in student engagement in particular with students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities and has been employed with the University of Newcastle for the past 4 years with UON Global division. Her current role of International Engagement Officer is a student facing role working with international and domestic students. She has contribute significantly to the UON flagship program iLEAD Plus a global leadership program for students.