Professor Laurene Vaughan – RMIT
I think that this was a great opportunity to develop deeper connections between institutions and for us to establish a basis for increasing greater collaborations and opportunities for students. Through the process we learnt a lot about our similarities and our differences – which is good. There has been far greater connection than there would be through simple study abroad or student exchanges which we have had in place for some years now.
From my observation the students who participated from RMIT, had a very rich learning experience in the various exchanges and the associated study tour. It wasn’t just what they learnt about design in these different places, but also about different learning and teaching models and approaches as well. They seem to have made ongoing friendships as a result.
The key challenges I observed were around timing, some of the differences between the programs (them being more than we knew in the beginning), institutional and staffing changes throughout the duration of the project, and the complexities of reporting.
There were different insights about different learning opportunities and challenges and that this protracted form of engagement is a great basis for building ongoing international collaborations and networks.
It has been a great opportunity for staff and students here at RMIT. The expansion of the participation to include the digital design program staff and students had a positive impact locally as well as in the overall exchange program.