'Pawns and prawns'

International academics' observations on their transition to working in an Australian university

Sue Saltmarsh*, Teresa Swirski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


Internationalisation in the Australian higher education sector has most usually been considered in relation to issues concerned with the attraction, retention and experience of students studying both on and offshore at Australian universities. Less attention has been paid to the experiences of the international academics that represent a significant percentage of the increasingly heterogeneous Australian academic workforce. In this paper, we consider findings from an exploratory study of international academics working at a multi-campus university in regional Australia. We draw on interview data to consider international academics' observations about their experiences of transition to work and community life. Based on these data, we suggest that institutional cultures play an important role in the transitional experiences of academics working outside their country of origin. We consider the implications of these findings for recruitment planning, workplace induction and other programmes aimed at staff development and retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Academic mobility
  • Academic staff
  • Globalisation
  • Induction
  • Internationalisation
  • Transition

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