The groundbreaking research at Melbourne’s Monash University in recent decades – into everything from IVF to stem-cell research to the Zika virus – has made it one of Australia’s most respected educational institutions. Little wonder, then, that so many students are now applying to its sister organisation, Monash College, a place that exists to support the aspirations of global students wishing to progress to Australia’s largest and most internationalised university.
Monash College offers an extremely well-regarded English-language programme, a pre-university foundation year course and a diploma programme. It also offers post-university academic programmes to help students find employment. These include the organisation of 2,000 internships a year, both local and international. “Seventy per cent of those students that take part in the college’s postgraduate internship programme get jobs shortly after because they have had that valuable experience,” says Jo Mithen, CEO.
Nearly 60 per cent of Monash University’s Undergraduate International students pass through Monash College, and 35 per cent of the university’s postgraduate students have been through the college’s English-language programme. However, Mithen and her team are not resting on their laurels. Future plans include further developing the college’s use of learning analytics to better match a student’s learner profile to their programme.
“We do a match diagnostic test for every single student and it shows us where the gaps are in their learning,” says Mithen. “For example, Chinese students won’t have studied calculus. It gives us the ability to use that data and apply that to the creation of the curriculum. We are only in the early stages now, but it’s one of the most exciting educational developments in recent years. It also applies to the postgraduate internship programme, where we can make sure that there is not just a technical fit, but a cultural and behavioural fit with a company.”
Monash College is also hugely supportive in a pastoral sense, running a homestay scheme that connects young students with trusted Australian families, as well as a guardianship service for those under 18. Its programmes meet the entry requirements for every university in Australia, while the foundation course is also accepted at many overseas universities, including in the UK.
“We are committed to the future,” says Mithen. “The use of learning analytics has a great capacity to enhance what we already do. We have a real opportunity here to continue to offer a very valuable service for students and their parents.”