Diamond gateway to university

Starting university can be quite an adjustment for most students, not least for international students who have additional hurdles before they even leave home.

Our Gateway to ACU student onboarding program is making a mark on students who might have some trepidation about attending university in another country.

When visiting campuses for open days and orientation wasn’t possible, in partnership with Liberate Learning, ACU developed a virtual campus experience that has proved to be quite a hit with the students and garnered international awards. ACU was recently recognised as the Diamond winner in “Best eLearning Design category” at the 2023 LearnX awards.

The Gateway program gives international students a taste of Australia and ACU before they arrive, which helps them as they transition to studies here. Initiated with funding from the Victorian Government to roll out the program for our Melbourne and Ballarat campuses, the success of the program has given us the impetus to expand into NSW and Queensland.

Liberate Learning design experts worked with ACU to expand use gamified, social learning, powered by smart use of immersive VR-360 technology accessible and viewable from any desktop, from any location to provide a fun, socially valuable onboarding experience.

The interactive online transition program takes international students on a journey through five comprehensive modules, covering:

  • study essentials and support
  • navigating public transport
  • finding employment
  • making friends
  • health and fitness
  • Australian culture
  • other important topics to help international students transition to study as smooth as possible.

A sneak peek of the first module can be found here on our website.

When enrolled, students can access the remaining modules through ACU’s learning management system. This is all accessible on or offshore so that students can begin the modules immediately.

There are plans for Gateway to be offered to ACU students at other campuses in the new year.

ACU graduate Mia found the program helpful in making the transition to study:

“Gateway to ACU provides the fundamental information that new international students need to know, and tips that they can use to enjoy life in Australia as a student.”

ACU Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global and Education Pathways) Chris Riley said the program was already making a difference to students as part of their journey in adapting to university.

“When students leave their homes to attend university in another country, they place enormous trust in us to deliver a unique education and experience specific to their needs. We considered what might cause apprehension and designed a program that would smooth their transition and to make our campuses welcoming and accessible. Liberate Learning understood the brief perfectly, developing a product that is appealing and fun for students who are changing their life to study with us.”

Find out more about Gateway to ACU

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