Creating points of connection: the need for dynamic governance in international education


Internationalisation is a key strategic objective for most institutions. International strategies are innovative, deliberate and disruptive. They can also be irrelevant, complicated and unrealistic. Institutions are vocal about intentions to be increasingly competitive and mobile, attracting more international students, staff and partnerships. International offices are prominent in organisational structures and executive portfolios are dedicated to realising the lofty ideals. This is adding another layer of complexity to an already multifaceted and complicated environment. Australia’s national strategy for international education is premised on three pillars: strengthening the fundamentals; making transformative partnerships; and global competitiveness. This session will explore the implications of increasing international activities on institutional governance. Different forms and models of governance are required to ensure rigorous management of international activities and creating points of constructive connection with an expanded set of stakeholders. The question will be asked whether institutions are equipped to stretch governance beyond borders.

Learning objectives

Participants will gain a broad understanding of the various forms and models of governance present in institutions and how this relates to the international agenda and objectives. The presentation will provide an overview of the implications of international strategies on governance practices and how governance can be used to create points of connection to ensure the international agenda is represented. Participants will be provided with a framework of the ‘ideal state’ of governance that can be used as a guideline or measure for governance practices. Finally, participants will consider the implications of the national strategy on governance practices and learn how to use governance as a tool to drive impact.

Dr Nicolene Murdoch, Western Sydney University The College

Chief Executive Officer

Western Sydney University The College

Nicolene Murdoch commenced as Chief Executive Officer at Western Sydney University The College in July 2018. The College is a wholly owned entity of the university that provides high-quality academic pathway programs, complemented by English language courses and proficiency testing, as well as offering a suite of vocational programs to students and clients through its RTO. Before joining The College, Nicolene was Vice-President (Student Administration) at Laureate International Universities. She has also held various executive roles at Monash South Africa, founded by Monash University in 2001. The campus grew from about 200 students when she joined in 2004 to more than 4000 in 2016, when she was Chief Operating Officer. Nicolene is listed on the Princeton Global Network Top 100 Elite Professionals in the field of education. This recognition is bestowed on distinguished individuals who demonstrate commitment to excellence in their careers and exemplary leadership in their communities. Nicolene completed her undergraduate degree in education, honours degree in human resource development and Master of Adult Education at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. She completed her PhD in education in the field of higher education management and governance at the University of Liverpool in the UK.