Higher education research

Publication Date



International education, Foreign countries, Graduate study, Graduate students, Study abroad, Focus groups, Higher education, Student motivation, Mobility, International students


This report presents findings of a study of the international mobility of postgraduate research students enrolled at Australian universities. It is based on focus groups with sixty postgraduate research students at seven Australian universities and one focus group with staff from three universities who are involved in supporting research students. Overall, the research indicated that the value of international mobility to research students, their supervisors, their institutions and to Australia more broadly was immense:

  • Students gained access to invaluable resources, contacts with global experts and unique insights that significantly enhanced both the quality of their research and their employment prospects;
  • Supervisors gained access to opportunities for collaboration with were exposed to new contexts for fieldwork and data collection;
  • Institutions had their international reputation enhanced and gained opportunities for building relationships with foreign institutions and opening up new markets to recruit students from overseas; and
  • Australia gained kudos internationally as foreign researchers were impressed with the calibre of Australian research students, Australian researchers were able to share their expertise with other countries and Australian researchers gained expanded opportunities to engage in the international research arena.

Place of Publication

Canberra ACT


Australian Government Department of Education and Training