The value placed on roles and attributes of clinical educators: An international comparison of Indian, South African and Australian undergraduate physiotherapy students.


  • Steve Milanese University of South Australia
  • Susan Gordon
  • Narasimman Swaminathan



Aim and Background: Clinical Education opportunities for undergraduate Physiotherapy students are now increasingly occurring internationally. The clinical educator (CE) plays a significant role in the clinical education process particularly when a student undertakes a clinical placement in a different country as the CE often takes on a surrogate caretaker role. This study explores the self-reported perceptions of Physiotherapy students from three countries representing different global society clusters – South Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), India (Southern Asia) and Australia (Anglo), regarding the roles and attributes of a CE that they value in the clinical education process.

Method: Data was collected from undergraduate Physiotherapy students in a university in India (n=23) and Australia (n=154) and compared with data from a similar student cohort in South Africa (n=70). Students were asked roles and attributes of a clinical educator were of most value in the clinical education setting.

Results: The relative values placed on CE roles/attributes across the three cohorts was similar, however specific differences between cohorts suggest that clinical educators should be aware of differences when supervising international students.