The international education sector is all too familiar with media coverage of crimes against students, including alleged poor responses from law-enforcement. Consequently the NSW Police, in partnership with Study NSW, developed an International Students Ambassador Program. A key aim of the program is to utilise international students to promote the NSW Police Force as an agency that is seeking to pro-actively enhance the safety and well-being of international students while studying in NSW.
The program commenced in April with a two-day residential phase at the NSW Police Leadership Centre in Richmond. The students participated in presentations under three broad heading of ‘policing insights’, ‘safety in the community’ and ‘issues facing international students’.
The overall objective of the ‘policing insight’ sessions was to build trust with the ambassadors, by giving them a basic understanding of policing in NSW and exposing them to a variety of inspirational police officers.
The safety presentations highlighted contemporary issues facing our communities in terms or personal safety, and security of property.
The ‘issues’ sessions looked to identify factors having a negative impact on the safety and well-being of international students in NSW. These sessions saw a wide variety of issues being identified, both through personal and shared experience.
Ambassadors were then asked to develop strategies to address these issues. The residential phase concluded with a plan to move forward via further on-line discussion between the police and ambassadors. This has commenced and the issues are being ranked in order of importance and strategies likewise assessed and prioritised.
A project involving international students from the University of New England via Global Scope is due to commence in June 2018. This project will critically assess the identified issues and independently develop strategies to address the problems.
The conference presentation will summarise the program and results obtained, and discuss how the program can be utilised in an on-going capacity.