Posted in BCM212

Why UOW? – Research Findings

My research journey began in the first week of the Autumn semester at university. We were set the task of choosing a research topic which explored student experience at university. My chosen topic, presented in question form, ‘Why do students choose to study at the University of Wollongong?, explored the reasoning for attending UOW from various students of various backgrounds.

In preparing the data gathering method for my research the initial plan was to gather data by interviews, however upon further contemplation a number of issues came about, including, time frame for completing the project which would result in minimal participants, difficulty in gathering participants in general, gathering appropriate participants (university students) and more specifically finding participants with completely varied answers to the initial research question. With this, I was forced to come up with an alternative method, leading me to undertaking surveys in order to successfully complete my research. The ten question survey allowed for  gathering of background information of participants, with questions such as “Have you previously attended another university? If answer yes, why?”, “Which option best suits your status as a student? (with options- local, regional, national and international students)”. These questions not only allowed for comparison when analysing research, but were an appropriate lead up to the concluding question, being the research topic question.

In analysing and concluding my research I did discover some fascinating results which were not anticipated in the process of commencing the research. My initial hypothesis for reasoning, Why students attended the University of Wollongong, revolved around peer conformity, localisation to family/friends, reputation and course availability. However, majority of respondents focused their choice on the basis of location and specifically coastal environment, as well as the natural beauty of the university grounds and the well-kept facilities.

Although possessing limitations, the finding of my research have not only provided theoretical information for use in professional circumstances, but being a local student, it has provided me with a changed perspective on the unmatched physical attributes and world class facilities of the University of Wollongong.


Posted in BCM212

Why UOW? – Research Proposal

In most instances my curiosity is sparked by the simplest action or thought, however when you’re forced to be curious it doesn’t come so naturally, or so thats what I’ve learned trying to come up with a research topic. I didn’t want to force my topic as, to put it simply it isn’t so riveting spending approximately 13 weeks researching an issue/topic which you have absolutely no interest in, nor do you care for the result. So I decided I’d relax the urgency and let my mind be CURIOUS.

With that, as it always happens, I watched a video in one of my lectures which basically (using fancy videography techniques and inspiring music) squeezed a students whole university career into 4 or so minutes. Although in that specific lecture they were trying to get me to focus on the importance of organisation, being prepared and keeping up to date with workload, this got me thinking about a completely different topic, of course. I started with, Why did they choose university out of all the possible post-high school options they were provided. Perhaps it has something to do with sticking with stereotypes, societal norms etc. Also why did they choose their specific course and most specifically to me, Why do students choose to study at the University of Wollongong? Is it all that end of HSC marketing they put out? (especially the TV commercials that make you feel so empowered and ready to conquer the world.)

Upon first glance this may seem like a very obvious question to answer, however there is multitudes of reasoning behind the answer, hence the fascination.  In every tutorial, lecture, university group etc. every individual who makes up the specific cohort has a different reasoning for their position, no two people are exactly the same however they had all ended up in the exact same place. My question is why?

To first gather further information about the university and not just begin my research off personal insight, like any other researcher I started with google- the University of Wollongong website to be exact. Here I fell into a rabbit hole of information, whereby the statistics page caught my eye the most. Not only is there a total of 25, 387 students studying in Australia, another 7,566 are accounted for under offshore campuses such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. This information led me the article ‘Student Choice in Higher Education: Motivations for Choosing to Study at an International Branch Campus’ (link), this specific article covered the reasoning for attending International Campuses, specifically the UOW United Arab Emirates (UAE) campus and the difference between students who choose home and international campuses.

Furthermore through general searches the issue of finances was a common reoccurring reasoning to my study. With some investigation an international article, Choosing a University: A conjoint analysis of the impact of higher fees on students applying for university in 2012′, provided background on how students in England based their reasoning on the quality of the course and its relation to financial cost. This was quite interesting as from personal experience students do not discuss the impact or influence finances have on their choice of studying at UOW, however I would imagine it is one of the fundamental deciding factors. 

Through my seemingly minuscule attempt at researching my topic, my fascination grows for reasoning, Why do students choose to study at the University of Wollongong? The above readings do provide insight for only a fraction of the 25,387 local and 7,566 global students who see their future through the University of Wollongong.


University of Wollongong, UOW at a glance, Statistics, 2017,<; (Accessed 12th March 2018)

Wilkins S, Stephens M & Huisman J, ‘Student Choice in Higher Education: Motivations for Choosing to Study at an International Branch Campus’, Journal of Studies in International Education, Vol 16, Issue 5, 2011,  pp. 413 – 433 (Accessed 14th March 2018)

Dunnett A, Moorhouse J, Walsh C & Barry C, Choosing a University: A conjoint analysis of the impact of higher fees on students applying for university in 2012, Tertiary Education and Management, Vol 18, Issue 3, 2012, Pages 199-220 (Accessed 14th March 2018)


Posted in BCM212

Searching for answers

The feeling of being completely immersed in something and wanting to become an expert in the field – sparked by curiosity. Organising the semester ahead of you involves absolutely no element of enjoyment, so why not just completely ignore it and instead become a professional in an area of research instead?

Watching ‘Matilda’ on TV sounded like a great catalyst for my process of procrastination. These days when a movie is old enough to be featured in your childhood memories, it is worthy of a re-watch. But rather than following the storyline, more often than not my thought train leads me to more of a ‘where are they now’ concept. And with one curious spark that the focus shifted from Bruce Bogtrotter struggling to eat Cookie’s “mud” cake to, I wonder how Bruce is going today?

By the half an hour point in my self appointed research project, I had raided Wikipedia, IMDb, Instagram, Facebook and google images, just to name a few. And with that I had succinctly updated myself on the 2017 versions of  Matilda, Bruce, Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey. But it didn’t stop there, I even went as far as educating myself on Roald Dahl, followed by a recap of a number of his most critically acclaimed novels, but thats another level of procrastination.

In case I sparked your curiosity about Bruce, I’ll make it easy for you:





Posted in BCM111

From Hollywood >Bollywood> Nollywood?

Upon hearing the term Nollywood for the first time and attempting to convey its meaning and background it rang absolutely no bells in my mind…until yesterday. In class a bunch of examples were shown in an attempt to familiarise us with the truly one of a kind filming and editing style that is Nollywood. That afternoon when scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across a ‘meme’ myself and probably every other Facebook users has seen at least a million times, then it clicked:


So for some background, ‘Nollywood’ as it was named, is a form of Nigerian cinema who’s prominence in the early 2000’s led to it’s title as the 3rd most profitable film industry following of course, Hollywood and Bollywood. As mentioned, the unusual filming and editing style, categorised by poor camera quality and camera angles, rigidly edited inserts and storylines is what makes Nollywood, Nollywood. The most common similarity Nollywood has to both the Hollywood and Bollywood film industries, is the production occurring among real life settings. However Nollywood takes this more literally, by capturing real people in ‘real life’ situations, usually featured in the background unintentionally, making it so raw and their reactions quite humorous. Although not appealing or understandable for a western viewing audience, this style of cinema is one of high prominence in Nigeria, however not in the viewing style we expect. Most commonly Nollywood is viewed in a relaxed and casual format, such as at cafe’s and in the home, hence the choppy storylines perfectly accompany this viewing form. Nollywood films to me, are what seems to be a very poor attempt at soap operas, which are bad enough on their own. But the obsession with this style of film, lies within the humour, the fact that no one gets whats going on is the best thing about them.

To illustrate the exact uniqueness of this film industry, the above insert of a ‘Nollywood’ episode, “Pretty Liars 1” is a kind of spinoff of the well known Hollywood series “Pretty Little Liars”. And before anyone thinks to say ‘copyright?’…that concept obviouslyy does not prevail in this industry. In a nutshell this ‘episode’ (I say this because it is an hour long) revolves around 3 women who are living a fake lavish life, until another women beats them at their own game, resulting in a plot for revenge. Sounds pretty generic and of course it is, I mean after all it is Nollywood. If this hour of complete confusion wasn’t enough there are in total 3 sequels under this concept, ‘Pretty Liars’, ‘Unbeatable Liars’ and ‘Beautiful Liars’ which come in 2 parts each, and you guessed it, they revolve around an almost identical storyline.

Snapshots of the film:


Although it is unlike anything ever seen before, Nollywood has made its name and like me, millions of people are exposed to the wonders of Nollywood on a regular social media viewing basis, its just that they don’t know it yet.


Posted in BCM111

In their shoes..

The idea of moving schools, universities or workplaces for individuals in general is daunting enough, but imagine the added pressure of moving abroad for this purpose. This anxiety is experienced by more than 12,000 out of a total of > 30,000 students at UOW alone (UOW Statistics), whether that be students arriving at UOW or leaving UOW for purposes such as exchange. One of the most common aspects of the international education experiences is the addition of opinion and advice based around parochial views represented by most notably, the media.


Lack of personal experience in the area of international education proved very difficult when attempting to personally interpret the experience and feelings associated with it. So with this, I thought only appropriate that I take the wise advice of my tutor and ‘get amongst’ the international student experience. My assignment within an assignment found me in conversation with a former female international student from Sweden. I decided to base this post on a single conversation around their experience and see what it was like ‘in their shoes’.


Understandably, my first assumption was to ask about Australia’s portrayal internationally and of course, the prevalence of kids riding kangaroos to school and frequency of having shrimp on the barbie was uncanny. Like the ‘dumb, drunk and racist’ perspective, to Swedes we are portrayed negatively, however in a more censored outlook, with a large emphasis on the ‘DUMB’ aspect. With these presumptions concrete in her perspective, it came as quite a shock that we Australians are actually ‘normal’ people, making the social aspect of settling much more comfortable. In terms of the educational processes undertaken, the idea that university came at a cost initially gave reason for the ‘dumb’ factor of our stereotype, I mean is it really rational to place a cost on further education, which will eventually add to our economy. Following the complete payment of university fee’s the only other differences in the technicalities of university, were variations in class times, duration and the availability of choice in terms of a timetable, as expected. One of the biggest surprises encountered in terms of Australian life outside of university was the lack of independence of her peers. One of the most fascinating examples she gave me was the fact that none of peers who lived locally, lived out of home, seeing as she had moved out of home even prior to moving countries at the ripe age of 20. The most prominent realisation she had experienced which dimmed her experience most, in terms of our society was the lack of freedom associated with youth and the almost curfew-ed nature of social life. Overall however she did mention university life was the overriding factor which kept her grounded. Finding common ground with students of similar background and accessing support via University run events (although not many at the time) made all the difference in her international student experience.

Perhaps our underestimated culture acts as relief for international students who upon arrival, find us to be “normal”.


Posted in BCM111, Uncategorized

The Ever-Changing Global Environment

The ever-changing nature of individuals backgrounds and eventual transition in and out of world communities can be categorised by the term globalisation. Arjun Appadurai’s 5 dimensions of global cultural flows, describe the interactive nature of ‘Ethnoscapes’, ‘Financescapes’, ‘Technoscapes’, ‘Mediascapes’ to form ‘Ideoscapes’ in keeping up with globalisation. Depending on perspective these ‘scapes’ are moulded together to form imagined communities by which similar ‘Ideoscapes’ allow “the nation to always be conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship” (Anderson, 6-7).

As a starting point, the extreme innovation under the ‘Technoscapes’ umbrella has impacted all other dimensions and created linked needs and relationships between dimensions. Most notably, the ever-charging technologically dependant ‘Mediascape’ has flourished to enable differing cultures to telecast the traditions of their national communities, globally. One of the most common Australian examples of a globally inclusive media source enabled through technology, would be the ‘Special Broadcasting Service’ (SBS). ‘SBS’ is a network which prides itself on providing “…culturally-relevant Australian media.” (, through numerous channels on free to air TV, radio and online. The network acts as a channel of expression when it comes to ‘Ideoscapes’ of varying cultures, a common ground is established among imagined communities whereby face-to-face interaction is unnecessary for the development of cultural bonds. However in some cases through this ‘Mediascape’ comes a presentation of cultural imperialism whereby negative, narrow-minded cultural views may be incorporated by the Westernised society?

These ‘Mediascapes’, enabled through new technology, have immense impacts on the way in which conclusions are drawn about certain issues within imagined communities. The relationship between ‘Ethnoscapes’ and ‘Financescapes’ see the need for integration of appropriate policies in order to suit newly introduced, globalised concepts such as, tourism, immigration and travel for employment, which enable capital flow through and between nations. An instance regarding the combination of ‘scapes’ is that of Asylum seekers. Technological advancements in the mechanical field enable the creation of transport for these asylum seekers (Technoscapes), who are fleeing countries in some cases, for hope of more prosperous future (Ethnoscapes- immigration/Fiancescapes). In turn they are encountering legalities with their entry into a nation, in this case Australia (Ethnoscapes). This issue is being televised on networks such as (SBS) (mediascapes), whereby, upon being conveyed by westernised media, has a negative effect on overall ‘Ideoscapes’ of these imagined communities.

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As illustrated in the example above, ‘Ideoscapes’ are no longer developed off face value or surroundings, but rather a combination of what is most commonly depicted in ‘Mediascapes’.  It can be seen however, that although some scapes subtly intertwine in a scenario, such as ‘Financescapes’ in the Asylum seeker example, these dimensions are never singularly depicted but rather act fluidly in all cases of globalisation.







Posted in BCM112

Kylie fights to survive

Often engaging in online activity means creating an idealised persona, or perhaps a number of personas as a sort of mask…

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…not exactly like this, but you get the point. To those online acquaintances we are one person and to those who are in your physical social circle you are another. Take the new “Life of Kylie” trailer (yes, i know I’m basic):

This is an ideal representation of an online persona which has flourished. With the help of a previous representational media paradigm based show (Keeping up with the Kardashians) Kylie Jenner has managed to create a persona. However the newly incorporated presentational media paradigm has seen her struggle for keeping up relevance, forcing her to create whats called an online persona.

With the battle for her throne being strengthened with the introduction of micro-celebrities, who are powered by their micro-public, Kylie has been forced to reveal her persona to create a connection wth her audience, similar to that of the more relevant micro celebrities.