14 September, 2012The five policy pillars to be recommended by the Asian Century Whitepaper reinforce the central role that Australian universities will play in driving Australia's future productivity and economic resilience, according to Australia's peak body representing universities.
The five pillars are: education and skills; innovation; infrastructure; tax reform and regulatory reform.
"Universities Australia agrees that in positioning Australia to take full advantage of the Asian century we need to engage with Asia more broadly and deeply at all levels," said Chief Executive, Belinda Robinson.
"When it comes to increasing our engagement with Asia, universities are leading the way.
"Australian universities have a long history of engagement with Asia. China, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam accounted for almost 65 per cent of the international student commencements at Australian universities in 2011 and our universities are the world's third most popular for international students.
"The one thousand offshore programs delivered by Australian institutions take place almost exclusively in Asia. Many thousands of agreements have been struck between Australian and Asian universities on student and teacher exchange programs, staff shadowing programs, and research collaboration.
"We now have Australian university campuses dotted throughout Asia, including the recent registration by China of a Monash University campus - an Australian first."
Building on all that has been achieved, Australian universities will continue to play a substantial role in strengthening Australia's capacity to effectively work in and with Asian countries. This will occur in a number of areas:
- Continuing to build successful and collaborative relationships with Asian students, researchers, universities, and governments;
- Growing Australia's international education industry;
- Providing graduates with the languages and cultural literacy needed for industry to engage more deeply and effectively with Asian countries; and
- Through research and innovation programmes, developing the future technologies and products for the new industries needed for economic diversification and trade.
"For example, Vice President Boediono of Indonesia has studied in Australia; as has the Health Minister for Vietnam, Madame Professor Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, and the first directly elected Prime Minister of Singapore, Ong Teng Cheong."
Universities Australia's submission to the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper can be found here.