While most graduate outcomes surveys target graduates who have recently completed their studies, the Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility’s Tracer Survey is unique. In its second year, the Tracer Survey recently collected data from over 1,000 alumni who had completed an Australia Awards or predecessor scholarship in Australia between 1996 and 2005. The research reveals many alumni are now senior leaders, sharing their skills and knowledge with colleagues, and contributing to the sustainable development of their countries.
The Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility’s Tracer Survey is providing DFAT with a unique insight into the long-term outcomes of Australia Awards on alumni, their organisations and country’s development.
In its second year, the Tracer Survey collected information from more than 1,000 alumni from 36 different countries who completed an Australian Government scholarship between 1996 and 2005. The global online survey asked a range of questions, focussed on exploring the four long-term outcomes of the Australia Awards. These are:
Outcome 1: Alumni are using their skills, knowledge and networks to contribute to sustainable development.
Outcome 2: Alumni are contributing to cooperation between Australia and partner countries.
Outcome 3: Effective, mutually advantageous partnerships between institutions and businesses in Australia and partner countries.
Outcome 4: Alumni view Australia, Australians and Australian expertise positively.
Follow-up telephone interviews were also held with 522 alumni, which allowed researchers to dig deeper into the long-term impact of the scholarships on individuals, their workplaces and communities.
The results are providing valuable quantitative insight into alumni mid-career use of knowledge and skills, development of networks and contribution to cooperation with Australia since returning from award. The majority of alumni who responded to the survey were between 40 and 59 years of age and come from across East Asia, South and West Asia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
A large proportion of the alumni surveyed are now senior leaders in their countries and the survey found the majority of alumni (98 per cent) are using their skills and knowledge gained in Australia to contribute to their country’s development, and that 97 per cent indicated they had introduced improved practices and innovations in their work on return from their award.
The survey found many alumni were now sharing their knowledge and skills in formal roles such as teachers and academics, but also informally, as trainers and mentors within their organisations or fields. An alumnus from Pakistan demonstrated his impact on the next generation of Pakistani academics through supervising post graduate students:
“I have produced 8 PhDs and 39 Masters of Philosophy. I reckon this is a sufficient number in just 14 years after my return from Australia.”
In addition, the research showed that alumni are also sharing their professional knowledge and building the capacity of colleagues within their workplaces through mentoring and training colleagues. This was exemplified by an alumna from Vietnam:
“I took a leadership role in several big development projects under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. I instructed and trained staff in the projects and during workshops or interactions with local staff (at provincial, district and communal levels).”
The survey collected examples of alumni who are also active in sharing their skills and knowledge through their professional networks and associations. For example an alumna from Indonesia who is making a positive change through her professional association and build capacity within her sector:
“I knew the practice of clinical pharmacy in Australia. At that time, no clinical pharmacy was developed in Indonesia. With my knowledge, through the Indonesian Pharmacy Association, I think I influenced a lot. I was involved in the changing of pharmacy education from drug oriented into a patient oriented model.”
The results also found that many alumni are contributing to community development activities on their return from award, supporting development across a range of fields including: health, agriculture, and environment. For example, in Papua New Guinea an alumnus noted:
“[I am] engaged in the PNG Australia Sexual Health Improvement Program and trained health workers in rural remote areas in Morobe and East Sepik Provinces to manage sexual reproductive health problems including STIs and HIV.”
And an alumna in Kenya is making a contribution by supporting women in her country:
“I have been training women groups and youth on how to improve food security through production and preservation.”
Many alumni indicated that are still connected with fellow awardees, and have forged ongoing friendships and professional links through formal alumni associations or groups within their countries. However, alumni cited the difficulty of staying connected with friends and connections made in Australia from 13 or more years ago, as there was limited access to the internet and social media platforms.
Importantly, 41.5 per cent of alumni did develop ongoing professional links with Australian organisations since returning from award. Of these links, many were with Australian universities (43 per cent), while 18 per cent were within the government sector and the remainder were shared between the private sector and non-government organisations.
The research found that the majority of the alumni (97 per cent) view Australia, and Australian expertise very positively. Alumni continue to promote Australia as a study destination to friends, family and colleagues:
“People came to know [I am an Australia Awards alumni] from word of mouth, my school juniors. Some friends and relatives. I advise them about the opportunity for education in Australia.” —alumnus from Bangladesh
“I have recommended Nepalese students pursue education there because of the quality.” —alumnus from Nepal
“I have informed other Timorese about the quality of the teaching process in the university in Australia and inform them that they should try for a scholarship to Australia. I am trying my best to send my children to complete their degrees in Australia.” —alumna from Timor-Leste
To learn more about the Australian Awards Global Tracer Facility’s Tracer Survey findings and to read the full report, visit: the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website ■
This week marks the release of the Facility’s Year 2 Results and provides an interesting insight into the impact of Australia Awards on alumni who studied in Australia from 2006 to 2010.
In Year 2, the Facility undertook five unique Case Studies, interviewing alumni from Vanuatu in the field of law and justice, Mongolia (finance), Solomon Islands (health), Indonesia (education) and China (environment and public health).
According to the Facility Manager, Dr Daniel Edwards, “The research reveals that the majority of alumni are now in senior leadership positions and are making positive contributions to sustainable development within their countries.”
Read the full reports on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
The results are in from the first year of research by the Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility, with findings showing that the vast majority of students who receive Australian Government scholarships to study at Australian institutions return to their home countries with ‘Australian-made skills’ that strengthen capacity and build expertise.
The Global Tracer Facility has been designed to monitor and evaluate the development and diplomacy outcomes of the Australian Government’s Australia Awards. In its first year, more than 1500 alumni from 27 countries, who studied in Australia from 2006 to 2010, were surveyed. The Facility also undertook in-depth interviews with a number of alumni from Fiji, Kenya, Nepal and Sri Lanka, who studied in Australia between 1952 and 1996. This qualitative opportunity to dig deeper into the results highlighted that many alumni saw their Australian study experience as transformational, allowing them to view the world differently and embrace new ways of thinking and new technology — which they shared with colleagues on their return.
The case studies offer rich examples of the myriad of ways Australian-educated alumni returned home with practical and transferrable skills and expertise, allowing them to make a difference in their chosen fields, often as high-level change-makers in academia or government.
In Fiji for example, alumni have made huge impacts on education through initiatives such as the National Early Childhood Curriculum and the first National Special Education Policy. In Sri Lanka, three out of seven alumni interviewed went on to set up postgraduate engineering programs. The Nepal case study reveals that alumni returned home to undertake projects and policy development in areas such as women’s health, water conservation and aviation regulation; while in Kenya, alumni went on to use their ‘Australian-made’ expertise to work on large international projects in areas such as food security and climate change.
Overall, the first year findings provide a valuable insight into alumni use of knowledge and skills, their development of networks, and their contribution to cooperation with Australia. The findings also underscore the significance of Australia’s growing global alumni, who are integral to continuing deep two-way connections across the world.
Read the full reports on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
The Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility recently visited a wind farm in Mongolia as part of research being undertaken to trace the steps of alumni who have studied in Australia.
The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has engaged the Australian Council for Educational Research to develop and run the Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility. As part of that work, Ms Rachel Parker and Ms Jennie Chainey accompanied members of the Mongolia Australia Society—also known as the ‘Mozzies’—on a visit to the Salkhit Wind Farm, the first wind farm in Mongolia, implemented by renewable energy company Clean Energy LLC.
The wind farm visit took place at the invitation of Mongolia’s Former Minister of Energy, Mr P. Gankhuu, and Ministry of Education Head, Mr M. Bayarmagnai, both of whom undertook tertiary study in Australia. Three ministers in the newly appointed Cabinet of the Government of Mongolia also studied in Australia, under the Australia Awards.
Some 80 000 Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowships have been offered to high achievers from the Australasian region and beyond over the past 60 years. The Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility is tracing these alumni to identify the contributions recipients of the awards are making to their communities.
Read more on tracing the pathways of scholarship alumni: https://globalalumni.gov.au/News/Details?ArticleId=392
Did you study in Australia on an Australian development scholarship in the 1990s or 2000s? We want to hear from you!
The Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility is researching the long-term outcomes of the Australia Awards and predecessor scholarships programs. Between October and December 2017 we will be surveying and interviewing scholarship alumni who completed their award between 1996 and 2005.
The Global Tracer Facility researchers will be collecting information from alumni about the ways they have used their knowledge and skills gained while studying in Australia to contribute to development in their countries and strengthen networks with Australia.
If you are interested in sharing your story and helping to evaluate the long-term benefits of receiving an Australian Government scholarship please register your interest via http://bit.ly/2wJfzlv
You can keep in contact with other alumni and find more professional development opportunities by joining the Australia Global Alumni network at http://www.globalalumni.gov.au
The Facility has completed its first year of case study field research with a focus on alumni who completed their award between 1952 and 1996.
During the first year of the Facility, researchers conducted four case studies, covering Fiji, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Kenya, each targeted specific areas of study or a particular industry. A total of 32 alumni were the focus of the case studies and alumni generously gave their time to share their experiences and reflect on the impact their scholarship has had on their lives and those around them. A further 33 interviews were carried out with stakeholders and others connected to the alumni subjects of the research.
Thank you to all alumni who participated in the first annual Australia Awards Global Tracer survey. Responses were received from more than 1,500 alumni from 27 different countries, who completed their scholarship or fellowship in Australia between 2006 and 2010. Follow up telephone interviews were conducted with over 500 respondents.
The Global Tracer Facility researchers collected information from alumni about their use of knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of their region; their ongoing links and networks with Australians and Australian organisations; and their perceptions of Australia.
Another survey will be conducted later in 2017, with a focus on alumni who completed their scholarship or fellowship between 1996 and 2005.
In December 2016, Sri Lankan alumni met with researchers from Global Tracer Facility to discuss their careers and the impact of their scholarship. The focus of the visit was on alumni who had studied engineering in Australia more than 20 years ago. Facility researchers interviewed wonderful alumni and other stakeholders and thank all who participated for their time and generosity.
The Global Tracer Facility has completed fieldwork for its first case study. Thank you to the Fijian alumni and stakeholders involved in the interviews. Rich data was collected from alumni, with the focus of the case study on those who had studied in the field of education and had completed their scholarship at least 20 years ago.