The overseas placement student experience a case study from western australia
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The overseas placement student experience – a case study from Western Australia. Sarah Collins, Mairi Knight, Rob Parkinson, Alison Austin, Claire Armstrong School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences.

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The overseas placement student experience a case study from western australia

The overseas placement student experience – a case study from Western Australia

Sarah Collins, Mairi Knight,

Rob Parkinson, Alison Austin,

Claire Armstrong

School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences

BSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare BSc Wildlife Conservation


Workshop aim
Workshop aim from Western Australia

Overseas placements – a great opportunity to travel, learn and gain relevant experience, but….

How can we enhance the experience for the benefit of the student ?

How can we reinforce the programme learning outcomes for overseas placements?

Are we in control?


Uop teaching and learning strategy 2009 12
UoP Teaching and Learning from Western AustraliaStrategy 2009-12

Key Theme 3: To consolidate existing work-related, work based and placement learning and extend its provision to better support students, employers and those in employment

We recognise the value of work-based, work-related and placement learning for students. Work-based learning will become more prominent, fulfilling professional imperatives and addressing business needs, as well as offering opportunities to enhance students’ future employability.

Key Theme 5: To develop an internationalised approach to learning and teaching

Modern graduates must be able to act effectively in a global culture, economy and environment. We will increase opportunities for safe, high quality international work-based and volunteering learning opportunities.


Placements in biology
Placements in Biology from Western Australia

  • Most students taking placement are studying

    • BSc Wildlife Conservation

    • BSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare

  • Some are studying

    • BSc Biological Sciences

    • BSc Environmental Biology

    • BSc Human Biosciences

    • Placements

      • Either between Stage 2 and 4; minimum duration 6 months, can be 2 x 3 month placements. Successful completion leads to the award of a University Certificate of Work Experience

      • Or Work based learning (20 credit) Stage 2 module


Placement experience and programme learning outcomes
Placement experience and programme learning outcomes from Western Australia

BSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare

‘to provide specialist knowledge of the biology and ecology of animals, with particular reference to biological systems that influence animal behaviour and welfare.’

BSc Wildlife Conservation

‘to provide students with a sound theoretical background, and practical knowledge and experience in the field of conservation biology. Students study the essential aspects of ecology that underpin the conservation of wildlife and its natural environment.’


At Open and Preview Day talks we stress from Western Australia

International Placement Opportunities

ROO GULLY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Centre for Education, Research & Conservation of Primates and Nature

But no direct experience of these placement organisations


  • Roo from Western Australia Gully

Roo Gully Wildlife Sanctuary

a registered charity in Western Australia which has been hosting Plymouth students since 2003; to date we have placed 14 students there, with a further four booked to go in 2010-11.


A working wildlife sanctuary in a rural location in Western Australia, run by Carol Lander

  • Specialises in the care of injured and orphaned marsupials…..

…and many other species

Animals are brought in by the public or local public services workers


ROO GULLY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY Australia,

Pre-visit knowledge of placement organisation:

it existed!

assessment of a placement report

final year project student talks

so, we visited last November…..


Rural property on the outskirts of a small town with a large paddock area where Western Grey and Red Kangaroos roam freely

  • Cages in area around the house where various recuperating or permanently injured animals are kept

Joeys kept in the house (require constant care)


Animal husbandry

Sitemaintenance


Student activities Australia,

Training courses

Project work

- the site has good resources for this including good computer and internet access, cameras, etc.


Video Australia,


  • Roo Australia, Gully placement students gain from:

    • Experience of the owner

    • International experience

    • Wide variety of discipline specific and generic skills

    • Long term relationship

    • Peer group support


Issues that need careful management Australia,

  • Matching with career aspirations

  • Placement project supervision

  • Dissertation versus placement project

  • Communication and support

  • Students as ambassadors

  • Living and working together in a small community

  • Additional administrative support required in arranging visas

  • Expense involved for travel and insurance



  • Effective management of overseas placement opportunities
    Effective management of overseas placement opportunities Australia,

    Host Student

    Academic staff Placement office


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