Indonesian students study marketing virtually with TAFE Queensland
While borders remained closed, 33 motivated students from Papua, Indonesia, completed stage one of a six month TAFE Queensland marketing skill set.
With stage two currently underway, the enthusiastic scholarship students are enjoying their virtual program from Indonesia and are motivated to continue their studies face to face on a TAFE Queensland campus in Semester 2 this year. The students have been supported by IALF, Indonesia and the SAGU Foundation throughout the program.
The SAGU Foundation Principal and Director, Tisha Rumbewas, stated their scholarship students are very excited for their Tuesday and Thursday classes. She is happy that the topic that she had agreed to do with TAFE Queensland – marketing and business – is something that is very much needed in the world nowadays. Tisha also added that this partnership with TAFE Queensland is the best decision they have ever made.
"Getting this Papuan program all happening was a team effort between TAFE Queensland, the Papuan Government and the SAGU Foundation. From an initial Zoom meeting to delivering the program within three weeks, the collaboration was brilliant and we’ve had fantastic feedback from the students and from the Papuan Government thus far," said Ms Rumbewas.
“This partnership with TAFE Queensland is the best decision we have ever made.”
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am, 33 Papuan students wait to ‘enter a room’ to learn marketing from TAFE Queensland teacher Sarah Butler, nearly 1,700km away in Cairns.
“We’ve been doing this since September 2021; students are studying six subjects in marketing communication with me over a 24 week-period, and they’ve already completed the first stage,” Sarah said.
“These 33 scholarship students from The SAGU Foundation are divided into two groups and I teach them through Zoom twice a week. On their side of the computer screen they also have The Foundation’s mentors to assist in between the teaching sessions."
“The [Papuan] students are becoming much more confident with their English language skills - they’re engaging, they’re asking a lot of questions, challenging things, having big discussions. They’re really coming out of their shells. Originally, they were hesitant to address me by my first name, because they weren't used to doing so with their teachers back home– I’m trying to acclimatise them before they come and study here. They are really, really happy, and just unbelievably excited to be coming to Queensland to do more study,” continued Sarah.
“Once the students have completed the second stage of their learning, they’ll receive a Certificate of Attainment, and we’ll then welcome them in person to TAFE Queensland so they can then begin their qualifications. Some have already selected business, maritime studies, aircraft maintenance, and travel and tourism as their next step into vocational education.”
Sarah also receives many emails, with her students wanting to talk with her all the time. She has set up many discussion boards for students via the TAFE Queensland learning tool Connect and meets fortnightly with SAGU Foundation mentors and tutors to monitor student progress.
This is not the first time Sarah has delivered an off-campus customised TAFE Queensland solution to international students, having just recently taught a marketing and communications diploma to a cohort of students residing in Wuxi, China.
“As I’ve done this with the students in China, I’m familiar with overcoming challenges with virtual teaching, and it also works because we reflect each other’s enthusiasm. Whatever I put out I always get 100 per cent back in energy from them,” Sarah said.
Tisha Rumbewas originally started The SAGU Foundation in 2015, following her own Masters qualification she obtained during a scholarship in Australia. The Foundation works closely with the Papua Government (and other stakeholders) to motivate and increase the competencies of Papua’s young people.
“It (this training partnership with TAFE Queensland) goes in line with the Papuan Government’s purpose – to prepare Papuan students to be ready with the skills required for the global workforce. So, while they are doing online classes here, they’re acquiring skills that will be very much needed when they enter the workforce, after they have graduated from TAFE Queensland,” Ms Rumbewas reflected.
And I see how Sarah designed the class, not only the syllabus, but from the way she engaged with our students; it really helps our students to understand how the global workforce operates.”
“We have begun stage two of this program, and we are anticipating our relationship and delivery of units to Papua students to continue and expand,” added Sarah.
As for the students, they couldn't be happier about the training and outcomes.
“Every little thing about studying with TAFE has made me happy. Class assignments, assessments, difficulties in doing assignments, very supportive and cool teachers, amazing friends, a very comfortable learning environment, obligations, and responsibilities that I must do as a TAFE student. All of them are my favourite and I will never feel tired. TAFE caught my eyes,” said Kanaan Abidondifu, Marketing and Communication student.