International students benefit from sector collaboration; case study of an entrepreneurship competition delivering employability skills


The new generation of international students demands engaging and dynamic tools and methods that enable them to build employability skills and experiences. This e-poster presentation will discuss the innovative format used to deliver INTERCHANGE, a hackathon-style entrepreneurship competition that has grown from a collaboration between six NSW universities since 2015 to eight universities in 2018. The competition engages more than 300 international students.

International students are involved on many different levels, from peer mentoring and volunteering to participating in the program. This competition enables international students to build key employability skills, increase their confidence and build local networks.

Learning objectives:

From this e-poster presentation, attendees will learn how to deliver an engaging, employability-skills-focused entrepreneurship competition, how to use technologies such as video engagement, social media tools and augmented reality to complement course delivery, as well as how to build relationships with the start-up ecosystem and local businesses.

Attendees will be encouraged to seize the opportunity for greater sector collaboration and use blended learning and gamification tools to create engaging and interactive learning opportunities that enhance the employability skills of internationals students.

Key interest area: Employability (EMP) 
Other key interest areas: Higher education (HE), Professional development (PD), Students (STU), Vocational education and training (VET) 


Mr Aaron Ngan
Facilitator, The FRANK Team, Sydney, Australia
Aaron Ngan is a facilitator and trainer for The FRANK Team. He has facilitated workshops and training for INTERCHANGE; an initiative which brings together 8 Universities and is co-funded by StudyNSW to equip international students with employability and entrepreneurship skills.

Mrs Kathryn Williams & Natasha Munasinghe

Careers Adviser, Career Development Service, Office of Student Success

Australian Catholic University

Mrs Kathryn Williams
Australian Catholic University
Careers Adviser, Career Development Service, Office of Student Success

Kathryn Williams helps students identify their interests and passion and equips them with the tools to navigate lifelong career development opportunities. She collaborates with faculty to embed career content into curriculum and works with industry partners to create graduate employment opportunities. In 2013, she launched the highly successful ‘Student Jobs on Campus’ program, which links students (many of whom are international) to part-time jobs offered by ACU hiring managers. Since 2001, she has held various roles in ministry and mission engagement for ACU, providing advocacy and pastoral care to staff and students and social justice opportunities for students to engage more fully in ACU’s mission. Kathryn is also a singer/songwriter and is Co-Director of an educational publishing business called Keystone Creations, which creates educational values-based songs that are used in primary schools across Australia and overseas. Born and raised in South Africa, then immigrating to New Zealand, Kathryn has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Otago and a postgraduate Certificate in Education (Career Development) from Australian Catholic University. She is a mum to three school-aged children.