International and Comparative Study of University Student Wellbeing in the context of Hong Kong and Australia

22 Nov 2022

For the past three months, students from UQ, Griffith University, and Hong Kong University have been participating in a Virtual Cross-cultural Exchange to explore how university students in Australia and Hong Kong understand and care for their wellbeing. Led by Dr Suraiya Hameed and Dr Kate McLay (UQ), Dr Jack Tsao (Hong Kong University), Dr Danielle Heinrichs and Dr Sakinah Alhadad (Griffith University), participants met online every Thursday afternoon to share, reflect on, and evaluate their diverse wellbeing practices. HKU Grant Committee Teaching & Development and Language Enhancement Grant funded this project. We were particularly interested in exploring the ways that personal and cultural identities inform these practices. To help explore these ideas, participating students engaged with a range of activities including digital story maps, Day in the Life videos, and visits to in-person and online Art Museums. Students also worked in collaborative small groups to research an aspect of student wellbeing of interest to them, with the exchange culminating in an online 'mini-conference' where each group presented their research and findings. We were so impressed with the students’ sustained and thoughtful engagement with the exchange, the way they managed their commitment alongside the demands of their usual university studies, and the quality of the work produced by participating students. The students’ feedback indicates that they found the exchange very valuable as it increased their awareness of the importance of caring for their wellbeing and created opportunities to build connections and friendships with people from diverse cultural backgrounds both at their own universities and beyond.