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International partnerships vital in push to export higher education

Universities in Australia should be encouraged to establish partnerships in other countries as part of a wider push towards bolstering their international efforts, a report from the government’s International Education Advisory Council says.

In the report, ‘Australia—Educating Globally’, seven priority areas are identified to enable Australian higher education to deliver to its growing population of international students, which the IEAC believes could reach 520,000 by 2020.

Specific strategies should be used to build links in individual countries, the council says, and national research policy should be set up in a way that encourages international collaborations. Other priorities include student visas, ensuring a positive student experience and gathering data on international education.

To ensure that quality education is provided to international students, the panel suggests keeping a close eye on regulation, remembering that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be possible. There should also be incentives to encourage the best overseas academics and PhD students to work or study in Australia so that the scientific workforce grows.

A ministerial council should be established to lead on international education, chaired by the tertiary education minister and including other ministers, state officials and education and industry representatives, the panel adds.