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Engagement with Asia via the new Colombo plan: impact on Australian students’ career directions and employability
chapterposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ly TranLy Tran, Glen Stafford, Thao Thi Phuong Vu, Mark RahimiMark Rahimi
The growing popularity of Asia as a destination for study abroad for Australian students has been largely attributed to the introduction of the New Colombo Plan (NCP) in 2014. Despite the NCP being positioned as a ‘Rite of Passage’ between higher education and employment for Australian’s young generations, to date little is known about how it impacts students’ career aspirations and employability. This paper is a response to this critical gap by examining the potential impact and benefit of undertaking study or internships in Asia on students’ career aspirations and employability from the perspectives of NCP students themselves. It is derived from a study that includes 52 interviews with academics, mobility officers and NCP students undertaking short-term mobility and internships in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Nepal and India. The findings show initial evidence of how mobility and interaction with Asia via the NCP experience enables Australian students to enhance, modify and transform their career habitus. The paper concludes with recommendations for developing effective strategies for translating study abroad into enhancing students’ employability and real career outcomes.