Griffith’s English Language Enhancement Strategy (GELES) has been recognised internationally, winning the Student Support Award at the PIEoneer Awards in London.

Vice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd

“Its fantastic to see the Griffith English Language Enhancement Strategy recognised by our international peers with this award,” saidVice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd.

“Griffith is committed to helping international students make the most of their time in Australia by providing quality education, guidance and support and GELES is a key part of the university’s offering.

“What really sets GELES apart is its multi strand approach to enhancing students’ language proficiency, ranging from formal, discipline specific courses embedded in their degree through to our Griffith Mates program that offers a range of opportunities for international and domestic students to interact, through to free English help sessions throughout their degree study and then specialised support for students graduating and looking to demonstrate their English proficiency as they enter the workforce.”

It is a unique and innovative strategy designed to ensure that international students for whom English is an additional language finish their degree studies with a better level of proficiency than when they started and are supported academically and socially throughout their program.

The development and implementation of GELES involved the coordination and cooperation of the University community as a whole, with representatives from senior executives through
to the Griffith English Language Institute, linguistics experts, discipline academics and academic administration.

It was developed in 2010 in response to studies indicating that some Australian universities were failing international students in their selection, admission and teaching practices.

The GELES framework acknowledges that building English language needs to be accompanied by attention to the development of the “whole” student, academically, socially and culturally, by providing transition-sensitive cocurricular and extra-curricular support programs to facilitate student transition into degree (Succeeding@Griffith), during degree (EnglishHELP, Griffith Mates), and at exit (English4grads).

GELES has been incredibly successful. It’s impact on student engagement and learning is regularly evaluated using indicators including: numbers of participating students; improvements in language proficiency and grades (GPA); student interview and survey data; institutional data from the Student Experiences of Course (SEC) evaluations; benchmarking through the International Student Barometer (ISB); and student feedback.

“Griffith Mates has played a huge part in my life. When I first came to Griffith University I never knew anyone but there were always smiling mates in the red tees who were always ever willing to help. …Griffith Mates has given me so many opportunities to host events be of part of buddy programs and so many social events which has helped me enhance my skillset.” Student, 2019

“I found and met incredibly beautiful people through this program and made some lifetime friends.” Student, 2019

Launched in 2017, The PIEoneer Awards are the only global awards that celebrate innovation and achievement across the entire international education industry.