Mr Pyne’s comments might have been scripted to respond to today’s release by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of a study, Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave, highlighting education as one of the five key sectors crucial to Australia’s prosperity over the next 20 years.
In announcing its report the Institute of Charted Accountants called on the Government to prioritise “polices that will boost productivity and make Australia globally competitive.”
“The call was answered by the Minister reinforcing education as an essential component of the Government’s plan to build a 5-pillar economy,” said Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Ms Belinda Robinson.
While work has been underway in a number of areas, including the implementation of streamlined visa processing and post-study work opportunities, a number of issues remain to be resolved. This includes key policy initiatives such as the implementation of the recommendations of the Chaney Report, Australia – Educating Globally, which have so far languished,” Ms Robinson said.
“There is a pressing need for an injection of enthusiasm and a commitment to revitalising Australia’s international education industry not just in recognition of its economic contribution but, as the Minister pointed out today, for its role in soft diplomacy and cementing Australia’s place in our region.
“As the provider of education to more than 300,000 international students, Australian Universities have welcomed today’s announcement that the Government will develop a national strategy to revive international education, deepen Australia’s engagement with Asia and complement the New Colombo Plan.
“The Minister’s commitment to a whole-of-Government approach and to working in close collaboration with the sector in developing the strategy, has also been well-received by the sector.
“The tentacles of international education reach into many portfolio areas including education, immigration, foreign affairs, trade, health, and industry.
“Building the architecture needed to sustain the decades of growth envisaged by the Government will require a multi-faceted policy effort.
“UA looks forward to working closely with the Government in pursuing our shared commitment to realising the full potential of Australia’s international education sector,” Ms Robinson said.