APAIE 2024 APAIE 2024

Workshop 5: Tear-down, reconstruct: new practice architectures for sustainable student support

“You’re going to be me for the day? When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a packed calendar. Zoom meetings, on-camera all day, very little break. Make sure you have a bottle of water and something in the fridge, otherwise you might not be eating and drinking.” When work is this intense, is it sustainable? What if we could zoom out from reactive, short-term approaches to student support and see a bigger picture? Can we shift narratives from what’s ‘wrong’ with people (students, staff, management) to what’s happening with our practices? Using different techniques to surface practical realities of international student support, we’re interviewing people who lead and implement support services to get closer to the practices that enable and constrain this crucial student scaffolding in our institutions. The workshop shares learnings from our own research, using techniques like ‘Interview To The Double’ (Nicolini, 2009) and drawing on practice theory (Kemmis, 2014) to uncover a fresh view on how student support practices come together - or fall apart - in our institutions. Hear insights and get hands-on with these techniques. Explore how to surface what’s happening in your own institution, and reconstruct your own connected and sustainable approaches.. 


  • Lucy Blakemore, Australia
  • Peta Bollen, Australia


  • Hayley Shields, Australia

Learning Objectives:

Participants will:

1. Engage with the findings of our research from interviews with those currently leading and implementing international student support initiatives in higher education institutions. Dig into the unseen detail of everyday practices, then zoom out to the broader landscape of how these practices come together to enable and constrain effective support for students. 

2. Learn and try out some practice-inspired tools to surface insights together with peers during the workshop. Get hands-on with short versions of ‘Interview To The Double’ and techniques for analysing the ‘sayings’, ‘doings’ and ‘relatings’ in everyday practice to see a bigger picture start to emerge. 

3. Collaboratively analyse our findings and build blueprints of student support structures to take back to teams for further development. 

TARGET AUDIENCE: Leaders and practitioners in roles responsible for student experience across institutions would benefit, especially those balancing detailed support with strategic planning and management at senior levels. This session goes deeply into and broadly across the student journey in higher education, from recruitment and admissions through to the many institutional branches of international student support, both social and academic.