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What Works 6: Australia-Asia school partnerships

Australia-Asia school partnerships explores success factors for intercultural engagement and interaction based on AEF’s Australia-Asia BRIDGE School Partnerships project. It addresses the need for an analytical tool for schools to successfully develop, implement and evaluate their international school partnerships. The research proposed a continuum for developing sustainable structures and models of intercultural engagement and interaction. This continuum was developed using a combination of three interconnected factors:

  1. Intensity of engagement
  2. Nature of pedagogical/curricular support
  3. The involvement of, and structural transformation processes within, the school community.

Using this continuum, the research identified four key features of the BRIDGE model that lead to successful international school partnerships, namely:

  • BRIDGE as a multi-dimensional teacher capacity building tool
  • BRIDGE as a tool/source of authentic learning
  • BRIDGE as a facilitator of cross-cultural relationships
  • BRIDGE as a facilitator of sustainable school partnerships.

Key findings

  • 97 per cent of all BRIDGE teachers in Australia stated that their intercultural understanding has developed as a result of BRIDGE
  • 95 per cent reported that their knowledge and awareness of the partner country has expanded
  • 92 per cent reported that BRIDGE has enabled students to expand their knowledge and awareness of the partner country
  • 90 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that students have further developed their intercultural understanding as a result of BRIDGE
  • 83 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that BRIDGE has enabled them to improve their second language proficiency
  • 80 per cent maintain contact with their partner school, and 79 per cent indicated that staff have had a chance to visit their partner school
  • 77 per cent indicated that their partnerships are actively supported by their school leaders.

62 per cent have taken steps to plan for the sustainability of the partnership.


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Image: What Works 6 cover image courtesy of Anneka Carroll-Bertles

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