SAAA Conference 2017: presentations

Dr Maša Mikola

Research and Policy Coordinator, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health

Academic migration in Australia: reflection on educational and professional pathways and multicultural working environments (Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships)

International education amounts to one of the largest export industries in Australia today. There are more than 712,000 International students living in Australia at the moment; 43% of these are students in higher education. Whilst for some international students, a higher education degree is a way to gain better employment opportunities back home, for many others a student visa comes with a desire for a subsequent work permit, and an eventual permanent residence. Whilst in some industries this can be quite a likely scenario, in some other fields this desire often remains unfulfilled.

This presentation is a reflection on transitioning from an educational to a professional field in the Australian university system. It looks at the factors influencing the process of entering a job market in Australia from a ‘non-privileged’ professional field, and discusses challenges deriving from a highly managed point-based migration system. It also looks at some other issues that can pose barriers to successful employment, such as racism and discrimination in the context of a highly skilled workplace. The presentation focuses on a personal experience of this transition from being an Endeavour postgraduate scholar in Australia to working in the Australian university and community sectors.


Dr Maša Mikola currently works as a Research and Policy Coordinator at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, a not for profit organization, which advocates for migrants and refugees in the area of multicultural health. Her work focuses on blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Maša completed her PhD in Intercultural Studies in Slovenia, and previously worked in academic settings, most extensively with the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. She was also affiliated with the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University as a Research Fellow.


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