Supporting international students – joint symposium with the Robert Gordon University

A hundred and forty-four staff from HEIs across Scotland attended a Symposium with the theme of ‘Supporting International Students’ on Wednesday 12 January 2011. The event was organised jointly by the University of Aberdeen and the Robert Gordon University and supported by the Higher Education Academy.

The event was opened by Professor Ian Diamond, Principal of the University of Aberdeen. Keynote speaker, Jude Carroll, Director of the Teaching International Students Project provided an overview of the issues and resources available to staff who are teaching international students. In parallel sessions, participants were offered the opportunity to explore topics as wide ranging as assessment, teaching, support, recruitment and career support with experienced colleagues from across the sector.

The Students’ Associations from both Universities provided a second keynote address, with further perspectives provided by invited international student speakers.

Professor John Harper, Acting Principal of the Robert Gordon University, closed the event by encouraging further collaboration on events of this kind.

Feedback on the event has been hugely positive, including comments such as:

“Being given advice on strategies and matters to think about when dealing with a great variety of student backgrounds was useful.”

“Having a mirror held up to my preconceptions about international students, coming face to face with the range of difficulties they face and tackling these in a classroom/advisory context was and will be very helpful.”

“I believe that I am better informed now than before and the importance of understanding the needs and expectations of international students is crucial in my role as a teacher.”

For further information including materials from the parallel sessions along with recordings of the welcome address, keynote presentations and closing remarks, please

For more information on the Teaching International Students Project see: