http://chronicle.com/img/subscribe_11_2011.jpgBy Susan Woodward.The future of Australian higher education wholly depends on staying relevant and competitive as global economic power shifts to Asia.That inextricable link between Asia and Australia was the main theme of the Australian International Education Conference, which attracted about 1,200 delegates here this week from some 40 countries.
Speakers challenged universities, vocational institutions, and the nation to move beyond the aggressive recruitment strategies that have seen Australia achieve the world's highest international-student concentration, or risk losing their edge. Australia's reputation has suffered in recent years as those tactics have increasingly been seen as predatory. Instead, experts said, the nation must treat Asian countries as potential partners.
"The quality of the policy decisions we make now will determine whether we succeed or fail in capturing the tremendous opportunity that the emerging middle class in Asia is offering us," Jason Yat-sen Li, a business-development leader who works in China and Australia, said at the opening plenary session. More...