6. Establishing a Project
This section looks at establishing specific outbound mobility projects.
6.1 Project Planning
What’s in this Section?
- Planning a project – general overview and tools ( )
- General steps that need to be completed, regardless of the project ( )
- Specific steps for different types of projects ( )
- Using Service Providers ( )
6.1.1 Planning a Project – General Overview
An outbound mobility project might take the form of:
- Long-term Exchange Program (semester or longer)
- Short-term exchange program
- Study tour
- Service learning (volunteering) project
- Internship or work placement
- Individual / Group Project
- Conference / Delegation
See sectionfor more information on these different types of programs.
A project might originate from a range of different contexts, such as:
- a visit by delegates of an overseas institution
- at a conference
- at the request of senior management
- through teachers’ personal contacts
- through a strategically planned process
Depending on what your project is and where it has originated from you might be required to adapt your approach slightly from the steps outlined below. In all cases, however, thorough planning (whilst it may be time consuming) allows your organisation to mitigate risks and put thorough processes in place for students and partners. Inevitably this will result in better experiences for students and partners and allows for easier reporting on outcomes.
See sectionfor information about .
6.1.2 The First Steps in Implementation
Irrespective of the project, there are some steps that must be completed as part of every project plan.
- Developing your project team ( )
- Due diligence on partner ( )
- Legal issues – contracts / MOUs ( )
- Health and Safety evaluation ( )
- Evaluation of student demand ( )
- Deciding on what marketing channels to use ( )
- Considering credit possibilities [ ]
- Evaluating what budget and resources are required ( )
See also sectionfor information about .
6.1.3 Specific Steps for Different Types of Projects
Each type of project below may require extra planning in the respective:
Additional Planning Steps Required
Long-term Exchange Program
Short-term Exchange Program
Service Learning (Volunteering) Project
Internship or Work Placement
6.1.4 Using Service Providers
Service providers are organisations based either in Australia or overseas that can assist with the development and implementation of projects and programs.
Types of service providers include:
- Travel agents
- Study tour developers
- Service learning (volunteering) program providers
- Internship providers
- Professional Conference Organisers
- Other companies assisting with the organisation of logistics (e.g. bus companies, airlines etc)
Using service providers can be an excellent way to efficiently implement extra mobility options or relieve the logistics burden of arranging, for example, study tours. As there is a cost involved, you need to weigh up the advantage of using a professional organisation to organise parts of a program as opposed to arranging it themselves.
A few rules about working with service providers:
- Decide on What you Need
Before contacting a service provider, try to have an idea of exactly what you need them to do. In the simplest case, this might just be having them book flights for you or arranging transfers. In a more sophisticated example it could involve them arranging all the logistics and visits as part of a study tour.
Be realistic about your capacity to organise the project and decide on where, if at all, you might require the services of a provider.
- Be Explicit
You should try to be as clear as possible as to what services you expect provided.
You can use this Service Provider Checklist tool:
- Legal and Due Diligence
Do you need an MOU or service agreement?
If you are only booking flights with them then possibly not, but if the relationship is more complex then an agreement may be prudent.
If the organisation is a travel agent, be sure to do your due diligence. Australian-based travel agents should be registered with the Traveller’s Compensation Fund – search at
http://www.tcf.org.au/. If they are a travel agent and are not registered with the TCF, ask them why they are not.
You should agree with your Provider in advance as to how and when payments need to be made. It may be that students will pay directly to the provider or that they make payments to your RTO and you are required to then pay for the services provided. Put this in writing (by email is okay) so that both you and your provider are clear on when certain payments will be made.
- Act Early
It takes time to get arrangements in place and for providers to complete the work that you require them to undertake. Think ahead and act early.
See also section.
6.2 Measuring Demand
Before launching any new mobility project or program it is critical to have an understanding of the level of demand from students for the opportunity.
Remember, no demand = no students = no project!
Here are some ways to measure student demand for outbound mobility opportunities.
a. Teachers Gauge Interest During Classes
The most straight forward way to quickly and easily ascertain interest in a project is to do some ‘class visits’ to talk to students. This involves pre-arranging to have five minutes prior to the beginning of a class to talk to introduce students to the key ideas for the project.
During these five minutes you might address:
- Where the project goes to
- What is involved and how long it might run for
- The sorts of credit or acknowledgement will might receive from the RTO
- A very broad estimate of cost
At the conclusion of this ‘mini pitch’, take two minutes to ask students, by show of hands, who might be interested in such an opportunity. Record the number of students in the class and the number of students expressing interest. You might also take the time to ask the students if they have any questions, concerns or comments – these can be very useful in helping you shape your project.
Once you have visited 2–3 classes you are in a position to determine an overall ‘level of interest’. You do this by:
1. Determining the proportion of students interested across the classes you’ve visited (total no. interested students + total no. students in the class)
2. Multiply the total student cohort for the area of interest (e.g. business students) by this proportion.
Across 3 business classes, 28 out of 46 students (or 61%) expressed a possible interest in the program. There are 400 students in the business cohort, so 243 is the estimated total level of interest in the project.
Given this total ‘pool’ of interest, it is important to bear in mind that there is a very large number of students (50% or more, anecdotally) who might express initial interest without having any real prospect of being able to participate. You must consider whether your ‘pool’ is large enough to comfortably fill your project.
A realistic figure would be around 10–15% of students expressing the very broad, initial interest in a project actually having the capacity to undertake it in future. From the example above, this would give you a realistic potential pool of 25–40 students for your project.
You must finally determine whether this final number of potential students is high enough to justify the time required to set up the project.
b. Broad Email to Students Asking for Expressions of Interest
A bulk email out to relevant student groups is a very quick way to gauge interest in a program, but also less reliable than visiting classes. Whilst emails can reach a large audience quickly, it can be difficult to evoke responses.
If you are going to ask for Expressions of Interest you may wish to consider using an online survey tool. One of the popular tools is called‘Surveymonkey’ (www.surveymonkey.com). Online survey tools can often be used free if you are only undertaking basic functions, and are a sophisticated way of getting information from interested students.
Some of the key questions you should ask are:
- The student’s name, email address and phone details
- The student’s current program of study, how far through they are
- Any concerns the student has about participating (costs, getting time off work etc) – this can be a tick box option and helps you estimate the likelihood of them being able to participate
- An agreement that you can use their contact details to provide them further information about the program
c. Student Focus Groups
In an ideal world it would be possible to focus-group potential new programs with students. The reality is that time constraints will almost always prohibit this from being possible.
If you do get the opportunity to conduct a student focus group, some of the areas you could focus
- What aspects of the program are most appealing?
- What things might deter the students from participating?
- What kind of outcomes are they looking for? Is it credit? An extra certificate?
- What is the best time of year for them to participate (is it during a particular holiday period?)
- What are the most appealing destinations to them? (bear in mind that students may not be aware of the fact an exchange or study tour in a non-English speaking country may be possible in English)
In asking questions around all of these topics your objective should be to try and determine:
- That the proposed project is viable
- The positives and negatives about the destination, proposed project, timing and duration
- Reactions to proposed cost
- What messages might speak most to students and encourage them to participate – is it the destination, the field trips, the friendships or the certificate they get at the end? Any of these might be the reason that students want to participate.
6.3 Developing a Project Plan
What’s in this Section?
- Tools for Project Planning ( )
- Timelines for Project Planning ( )
6.3.1 Tools for Project Planning
Your project plan will involve many several different aspects, many of which are covered in more detail in the following sections.
As a minimum, things you need to do as part of your program planning are:
- Consider the resources you have available ( )
- Select your project team ( )
- Undertake risk management assessment ( )
- Liaise with stakeholders (partners, media, internal stakeholders) ( )
- Plan your itinerary ( )
- Implement your program (Section )
- Evaluate your program ( )
A useful way to complete this sort of Project Planning is to complete ‘Post-It Note Planning’. Read more about this in this document about Post-It Note Planning:
An alternative to Post-It Note Planning is to use this Outbound Mobility Project Planning Tool, which divides projects into 4 sections: Policy development, Project Preparation, Project Delivery and Finalisation. It can be used to identify tasks that need to be completed as part of the project, the person who needs to complete the task and a timeframe for delivery.
Once you are ready to run a project with a partner, you may wish to sign an MOU or contract with them.
Here is a template MOU for a mobility project (you should consult your legal service if you wish to create a contract with another organisation).
6.3.2 Timelines for Project Planning
Different types of programs will take varying amounts of time to be established. Always be sure to leave sufficient time for projects to be implemented – things like arranging logistics, generating student interest and preparing students for departure inevitably take longer than expected.
Below is a table with recommended implementation times for new outbound mobility projects. These timelines show the amount of time suggested from the conception of a new project through to the time the first student participates. They take into account: setting up relevant partnerships, signing agreements, organising logistics, generating student interest and preparing the student/s
Recommended Minimum Implementation Time
Long-term Exchange Program (Term / Semester or Longer)
Short-term Exchange Program
Service Learning (Volunteering) Project
Internship or Work Placement
For example, if it is the month of June, the first participants on a new short-term exchange program should only be departing in June or July of the following year.
6.4 Budget and Resources – Costing and Funding Projects
What’s in this Section?
- Preparing a budget for a project ( )
- Dealing with Exchange Rates ( )
- The importance of scholarships and travel grants ( )
- Seeking sponsorship ( )
- Student fundraising ( )
- Travel grant policies and applications ( )
6.4.1 Preparing a Project Budget
Not to be confused withwhich considers mobility program-level budget line items.
Project budgets are useful to calculate how much students should be asked to pay for a particular experience. They allow you to calculate fixed costs (such as staffing costs, per diems, the cost of doing site visits to establish the project, and even office costs) as well as variable costs – such as those that a student is likely to experience whilst abroad.
Download the Project Budget spreadsheet tool:
This tool is particularly useful because, once configured, it allows you to ‘balance’ the budget for the project by either increasing the fee the students must pay or increasing the amount of money your organisation needs to commit to the project.
6.4.2 Dealing with Currency Exchange Rates
One of the perils of running outbound mobility projects is variation in currency exchange rates, specifically when you have suppliers or partners that you need to pay in foreign currency.
A few tips for dealing with foreign currency.
- Determine an Exchange Rate
An excellent website for currency calculations is oanda.com
Oanda allows you to calculate exchange rates based on today’s rate, or any historical rate.
When calculating a rate, you should never use the ‘interbank’ rate – this is the rate that banks charge each other to convert currency. The ‘real’ rate that individuals and businesses have access to is usually between the ‘credit card’ rate (which is equal to the Interbank rate + / - 2%) and the ‘cash’ rate (which is equal to the Interbank rate + / - 4%).
- Give yourself Room to Move
Currency can fluctuate greatly from day to day and week to week. Always give yourself room to move by being ‘pessimistic’ about what is going to happen to the currency value. Calculating an extra 2–4% of possible variation gives you some flexibility – thus using the Interbank rate + / - 8% is a reasonable option.
In the situation that currency remains stable, or changes in your favour, this additional amount can be either returned to students or used to offset other costs in the budget.
Remember that if you have to make payments in foreign currency your finance section will either need to generate a foreign money order or make a foreign telegraphic transfer. These take longer to process that regular payments, often by up to a week or more, so you should be extra vigilant of invoice
6.4.3 The Importance of Scholarships and Travel Grants
There is a strong correlation between the offering of financial support to students to undertake outbound mobility projects and increasing uptake of those opportunities.
More scholarships / grants = more students undertaking outbound mobility projects!
Convincing senior management that offering student mobility scholarships are valuable can be challenging, despite the institutional benefits of having a student mobility program.
Read more about generating management support for mobility in section.
Grants – as little as $500, can be enough to get an enthusiastic student ‘over the line’ to participate in a program if finance is the main reason for them being unable to participate. An institutional investment of as little as $20,000 for outbound mobility grants (the equivalent of 40 x $500 grants) can be enough to get the ball rolling on a mobility program. For smaller organisations this might be in the form of 10 x $500 travel grants and the remainder invested in teacher travel and program development. More generous scholarships are better for students from lower socio-economic statuses.
6.4.4 Seeking Sponsorship
There are many organisations that may have an interest in funding outbound mobility projects. Travel agents, airlines, bilateral business councils (such as the Malaysia-Australia Business Council), and tourism, cultural and educational organisations of foreign Governments all have interests in seeing more Australians travelling abroad for education. These are all potential sources of funding or sponsorship.
In seeking sponsorship you need to carefully think about two factors: which organisations have an interest in seeing your students travelling abroad, and what’s in it for them if they provide you with sponsorship?
You might be able to entice sponsors by offering to promote their services to students around your organisation in return for cash or in-kind support.
Sponsorship can help provide funds in addition to your budget to support an initiative. You must remember that sponsorship must be a mutually beneficial partnership to be effective and sustainable. Companies will only respond positively to your cause if they can see the merit in it and they are going to get something in return.
Tips to Secure Sponsorship
- Target companies with an interest or affiliation in your initiative. Don’t randomly send letters, rather research them and identify possible linkages and synergies with your programs and theirs.
- Have a clear description of what’s in it for them. Be sure that you provide them with value for their sponsorship. This could include free advertising on promotional information, mention at special events and in press releases, etc.
- Create levels of sponsorship. This allows gives you more scope to generate funds and allows more organisations to be involved. A common approach is to create a Gold, Silver and Bronze category with varying levels of incentives. Ensure that this is fair and reasonable.
- Provide a response form so that potential sponsors can act quickly and easily.
- Follow up. A few days after the potential sponsor has received their letter you should follow up with a phone call. Be prepared to resell the idea to them, outlining the linkages between your program and their organisation.
The attached sponsorship letter and template will assist you in approaching corporate partners. You may wish to refer to this checklist for seeking sponsorship and this sponsorship proposal template.
Bilateral Business Councils
The attached reference tool includes the links to the major bilateral business councils that support trade and international cooperation between Australia and their respective markets. Business Councils may vary in structure and scope but generally operate under a state chapter system that enables its members to network and attend information sessions and trade related programs with like minded organisations and individuals in their state.
For access to companies based in these countries or those doing business in the region the business councils are a great place to start. Membership fees vary across councils but most have a low entry option for just individual membership.
Note that the bilateral business councils are different to the bilateral councils / institutes funded through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade () who each fund small grants for a range of projects and programs (including exchange and international collaboration) between Australia and their respective markets.
See the case study below regarding Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE’s relationship the Italian Chamber of Commerce in establishing their long running fashion exchange project.
Case Study – Australia Malaysia Business Council Internships Program
The Australian Government and the Australia Malaysia Business Council recently offered over 25 scholarships for Australian university and VET students to undertake internships (from 1–6 months) in Malaysia. The initiative focused on placements in HR, Law, Business, Finance, Marketing and Accounting, Event Management, Hospitality. Australian RTOs were sent information about the scholarships and had the opportunity to use the scholarships as a way of increasing their student mobility to Malaysia.
See sectionfor a list of organisations that may be able to support your mobility initiatives with funding.
6.4.5 Student Fundraising
Encouraging students to undertake fundraising for their project is a good way to build both team camaraderie (in the case of group projects like study tours) as well as awareness of the RTO’s mobility program.
Some fundraising activities students might undertake include:
- Running a BBQ at lunchtime
- Selling chocolates around your organisation
- Running a quiz night
- Running a competition for a prize donated by a sponsor
- Linking up with a community organisation – for example, North Coast Institute of TAFE design students linked up with Northern Rivers Arts Council and Koori News media as part of their overseas mobility project
6.4.6 Travel Grant Policies and Applications
If you decide to offer travel scholarships there should have a policy in place to determine which students are eligible for a grant and the criteria by which those grants are allocated.
Some criteria that you might choose to apply are:
- Student’s Point in their Program
You might choose to require students to have completed a minimum amount of study at your RTO or having a certain amount of studies remaining at the completion of their overseas experience
- Academic Performance
How well the student has performed in their studies – this might be based on their results or on references from teachers
- Extra-curricular Performance / Engagement
One of the key ways to promote your mobility program and specific projects is through referrals by previous participants. Students who are involved in external activities and organisations are often the best ambassadors for your program as they are demonstrated self-starters. Your Travel Scholarship application might ask for students to talk about the organisations and activities they are involved in outside of their studies.
The temptation to provide scholarships on a needs-basis is strong, but it is also complicated to verify. It is not advisable to try and ascertain need by requesting income documentation yourself, but rather to ascertain it by evidence of other support students are receiving. For example, if you do go for needs-based scholarships you might want to ask for evidence of Centrelink support or check with your Equity / Access section to see if they are aware of the student in question.
You may choose to allocate a scholarship to students of a particular indigenous or ethnic background.
You can create your travel grant policy using this blank travel scholarship policy template:
Here is an example of a student Scholarship Application from Swinburne University of Technology:
6.5 Project Team
What’s in this Section?
- Roles on a Project Team ( )
- Communications between project team members ( )
6.5.1 Roles on a Project Team
Outbound mobility projects often cut across several sections of an RTO, involving administrators, finance, legal and communications teams, teachers and others.
Planning who is going to be involved, and understanding what their role will be, will help you to be efficient and thorough in implementing the project. The table below outlines different ‘positions’ that people might have and what their role in a mobility project might be. This will vary significantly depending on your level of resourcing and the roles are not extensive.
Potential Mobility Project Role
Level of Involvement
Promotions; site visits; designing project content; assessment; assisting to prepare students;
Managing applications; arranging logistics; student administration and preparation.
QA; student selection; logistics; partner liaison; agreements and finance;
Public relations / media
Finance and Legal
Agreements; project payments; administering per diems and advances
Meeting partners; provide resources; endorsement
Approved travel provider and in accordance with travel protocols. This varies from state to state and public to private. Eg in NSW minister sign off.
6.5.2 Communication Between your Project Team
Your team should communicate often and meet frequently.
One member of your project team should act as a sort of ‘secretariat’ for the project. This role, often served by an administrator, involves organising and minuting meetings, collecting, collating and circulating relevant documents and managing project timelines (see).
This project ‘secretariat’ becomes the central contact point for anyone inside your organisation who has an enquiry about the project.
6.6 Risk Management
Risk management is a key part of planning any project. Any risk management activities you complete should be done in conjunction / consultation with your RTO’s Risk Management Plan. See.
For each project, some of the things you should consider doing are:
- Complete a Safety Profile for the destination
- Ensure you have the Emergency Contact details for each and every student attending
- Ensure every student has appropriate travel insurance coverage ( ).
- Refer to www.smarttraveller.gov.au to check if there are any relevant travel advisories in place for the destination (if the warning level is anywhere at or above ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ you should consider deferring the project).
- Develop an Exit Strategy – how will you get students out of the area in the event of an incident?
You should consider undertaking a risk analysis for each destination in which you are running projects. See this example provided by North Coast Institute of TAFE:
See also this example of a study tour risk management procedure from Swinburne University of Technology:
6.7 Communication with Stakeholders
What’s in this Section?
This section contains information about communicating with internal and external stakeholders, excluding students.
- Developing a marketing and communications plan ( )
- Internal communication ( )
- Communicating with partners ( )
6.7.1 Developing a Marketing and Communications Plan
Preparing a marketing and communications plan for your outbound mobility initiatives will help to ensure you have the most appropriate programs, are targeting the right students and destination markets and foster adoption of the mobility programs across your organisation.
When preparing a marketing and communications plan for your outbound mobility programs you should consider and refer to your organisation’s strategic marketing plan to ensure it is aligned.
6.7.2 Internal Communication
Internal communication about your project should largely be managed by your Project Team – see.
6.7.3 Communicating with Partners
Training providers should endeavour to remain in close contact with overseas partners during the establishment, implementation and evaluation of projects. This is most often via email and telephone (or Skype), but meeting with partners at International Education conferences or during site visits () is also extremely useful.
You can use this Partner Communications Log to keep track of contact that you’ve had with your Institutional and Industry partners.
Storing Information about Partners
It is important to ensure against the loss of corporate history by documenting information about partner organisations as well as possible.
This might involve keeping a Partner Communications Log as well as developing a Partner Information Fact Sheet, this document is particularly applicable to long-term exchange programs but can be adapted for short programs. Fact sheets are easily updated and are very useful to give students a quick impression of what an Institute or destination is like.
6.7.4 Generating Media Interest
Your RTO will no doubt have your own processes and systems for generating media interest. The following section provides some general tips about managing public relations of a mobility program and effectively getting access to main stream media.
Public Relations – Tips for Effective Press Releases
A well prepared press release can get you free publicity. Your story may also be better received if it appears in the editorial or news section rather than in paid advertising. The aim of the press release is to gain the attention of the media and encourage them to share the story with others through their media channels.
The Elements of a Good Press Release
- It is to the point
- It has a significant impact on others
- It is timely
- It offers a unique or different perspective on a topic; it is new or unusual; there’s a human interest component (e.g. people, children, animals)
- It highlights organisational or individual achievements
- A well-known person is involved
- There is a local angle (related either to a neighbourhood, city, region, state, or nation);
- It is related to a subject about which people always want to learn more
Writing a Good Press Release
- Write down all the points relating to your story. Explain the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of your story
- Place your points in order of importance – from the most important to the least. Your first few points should clearly explain the basics of your story
- Look for a unique angle or point of difference that may make your story more interesting or attractive.
- Look for a ‘human’ angle that makes the story personal
- If you have a relevant and interesting photo you should include it
- Consider if there is an opportunity to invite the media to a special event to interview key people and / or get a photo
- Use clear and simple language, avoid jargon and acronyms and keep it short and to the point (one page is ideal).
- Use active words and quotes to make it positive and personal
- Ensure it is accurate and stick to the facts
- Consider the benefits to your audience – don’t just point out the features. Clearly state what’s in it for the user
- Check and re-check
Distributing your Press Release
Selecting the appropriate media is just as important as writing a good release. When selecting a media channel you should consider:
- Your local media
- Special interest media (such as Campus Review for education matters)
- Press releases should be sent to the relevant editor.
6.8 Key Messages
Highlighting the benefits of overseas experiences is very important in generating student interest in projects. Anecdotally, people working in outbound mobility know the overwhelmingly positive influence that their experiences have on students, so gathering testimonials from past participants is very important in generating ‘key messages’ to disseminate to both students and institutional stakeholders.
The attached document includes a selection of key messages that have been targeted for students, the organisation and industry. They are based on research both within Australia and internationally.
As you commence offering more programs at your organisation you will be able to support these with real life testimony of the value and impact of mobility.
6.9 Planning an Itinerary
What’s in this Section?
- Things to consider when planning an itinerary ( )
- Example itineraries and an itinerary template ( )
- Visas ( )
6.9.1 Things to Consider When Planning an Itinerary
Itineraries generally apply to shorter-term projects, including study tours, short term exchanges and conference participations.
Shorter duration projects can be extremely effective in increasing mobility as students usually have fewer major barriers to participation. However, a short project needs to include intensive experiences, both educationally and culturally, so there is pressure to be very thorough when planning the itinerary for such projects.
Read this list of key factors to consider when planning an outbound mobility itinerary:
You can adapt this Itinerary Template:
6.9.2 Example Itineraries
Here are some example itineraries for some outbound mobility projects:
Where your program goes to, and what participants will do, may be affected by the types of visas that your students are eligible for. You should research visas in advance – see section.
Lead times for passports may also need to be considered, for example an Aboriginal student where no birth certificate is available might dramatically increase the amount of time required to generate a passport and visa.
6.10 Student Management Plan
What’s in this Section?
- What is a Student Management Plan? ( )
- What goes into a Student Management Plan? ( )
- Examples of Student Management Plans ( )
6.10.1 What is a Student Management Plan?
A student management plan is the step by step process for managing students through a project. In essence, it is your ‘master process’ for dealing with students, beginning at the ‘promotion’ stage and running right through to the student’s re-entry program and what happens when they become a program alumni.
Student management plans allow you to provide a consistent level of service to every students applying to go on a program.
You may choose to have a student management plan for an individual project, or to have a program-level plan that covers all of your individual projects.
6.10.2 What goes into a Student Management Plan?
- A student management plan should address the following areas:
- Marketing of the program
- Management of enquiries and applications
- Administration of applications
- Preparation of students for departure
- Administration of students whilst they are abroad
- Re-entry process and management
- Evaluation and reporting
6.10.3 Examples of Student Management Plans
Here is a Template Student Management Plan that you can complete and use either for individual projects or as a program-level document that applies to all individual projects.
What’s in this Section?
- Undertaking project-level evaluations ( )
- Examples of evaluation questions for students, teachers and partners ( )
6.11.1 Undertaking Project-level Evaluations
Why Evaluate Projects?
Evaluating individual programs is a critical part of the ‘continuous improvement’ process for your student mobility program. It helps to identify strengths and weaknesses and can generate useful information, such as testimonials. When reporting on your mobility program, the outcomes of individual projects are invaluable.
When and How to Evaluate Projects?
Depending on who is evaluating the project, the timing may vary slightly as to when the evaluation is ideally conducted.
Immediately prior to the conclusion of the project
Students can be very difficult to get hold of once they return to their ‘normal lives’ – they go back to work and study. It is best to get their evaluations before this happens and whilst the experience is still fresh.
Teacher /Project Leader
Shortly after the conclusion of the project
Project leaders should typically be given a few days or a week to ‘digest’ the project before evaluating it. However, staff often have significant backlogs of work to catch up on, so it should not be left too long or it may not be a priority.
A few weeks after the conclusion of the project
Partner organisations have ongoing administration to complete after a project is finished and often need a little bit of time to ‘breathe’ and reflect.
Staggering when evaluations are conducted also allow you to better monitor evaluations as they are returned, or to follow up with individuals if they are not being returned.
What do you do With Evaluation Information?
- Use the comments as testimonials. If you have asked students to ‘rate’ the program, use these statistics to show students had a great time, learned a lot etc.
- Use it for reporting – evaluation information provides solid, quantifiable data that can be used in official institutional reports or to justify the expansion of your mobility program.
- Most importantly, use it for future planning. The experiences you have had with one project are invaluable in improving future editions of that project or in developing new ones.
See also section.
6.11.2 Examples of Evaluations
See this Sample Student Survey and example of a returning student evaluation form from Swinburne University of Technology:
RTOs who have been successful in receiving Australian Government funding for their VET student mobility projects are requested to obtain evaluations from their students using AEI’s Student Evaluation. Other RTOs may use the following document for their evaluations if desired.
6.12 Site Visits
Site visits prior to a program, or whilst a program is running, are essential in order to:
- Evaluate partner sites for projects
- Conduct appropriate due diligence
- Conduct risk management
Site visits should be costed into either Program-level Budgets () or Project Budgets ( ).
During a site visit, staff should try to meet key staff at the partner RTO (if applicable) and ground operators, as well as trying to visit key sites that the project will visit.
Use this Site Visit Checklist tool to evaluate sites and record details of site visits: