Minister to lead higher education delegation to China
- Minister for Tertiary Education
- Minister for Skills
- Minister for Jobs and Workplace Relations
The Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, will lead a high level university delegation to China from 1-4 November 2010.
The Minister’s first international visit as Minister for Tertiary Education will deepen educational co-operation between Australia and China and explore new opportunities for collaboration between universities in both countries.
The visit will also highlight the economic and social importance of Australia’s international education sector and the significance that the Government places on quality and sustainability in international education.
Senator Evans acknowledged that issues currently facing the sector – including the strength of the Australian dollar, increased competitor activity and recently implemented immigration integrity measures – had contributed to a downturn in student enrolments.
Senator Evans said the Government and the sector must work together to confront these issues to build long term improvements in quality and sustainability.
“The Gillard Government understands that a strong international education sector is vitally important to Australia’s future,” Senator Evans said.
“We are committed to working with the international education sector in a practical way to ensure that Australia continues to be recognised internationally for the high quality of its educational offerings.”
“The impact of the strength of the Australian dollar is being felt across all markets. But at a time when the international education sector is experiencing unprecedented short-term challenges, this is no time to stall reform.
“On the contrary, it is exactly the right time to push on to build a sector that is stronger and better because it is built around improved quality and integrity.”
The high level delegation to China includes Professor Peter Coaldrake (Vice-Chancellor Queensland University of Technology, Chair of Universities Australia), Professor Ross Milbourne (Vice Chancellor University of Technology Sydney, Chair of the Australian Technology Network) Professor Paul Greenfield (Vice Chancellor University of Queensland) and Ms Jennie Lang (Pro Vice Chancellor International, UNSW).
Chinese students make up more than a quarter of all international students studying in Australia and graduates play a major role in the economic and cultural life of China.
Half of all Chinese students in Australia are enrolled in the higher education sector, with a further 20% enrolled in vocational education and training courses.
“I am keen to personally underline the message that Australia welcomes international students and remains a world leader in education,” Senator Evans said.