October 29, 2012

IRU poised for the Asian Century

 “In this Asian Century, IRU universities will continue to play a leading role in engagement with the region,” said Professor Ian O’Connor, Chair, Innovative Research Universities (IRU).

For several decades Australian universities, including IRU network members, have built lasting relationships with universities, industry, Government and community partners throughout the Asian region, including campuses in Singapore. These partnerships have contributed to capacity building in the region and the rapid development of Asian nations.

“The Government’s Australia in the Asian Century white paper confirms the value of these efforts, providing impetus for IRU members to broaden and deepen their engagement with Asia.  The Paper makes clear that university engagement is of great value to all involved, with Australia’s future prosperity tightly linked to our success in building it further.”

“Our June 2012 high level delegation put IRU at the forefront of university engagement with Malaysia.  It confirms our commitment to the region, and the IRU looks forward to developing these relationships.” Government support for such activity will only improve our effectiveness.

“The bipartisan support for Asian engagement allows Universities to institute long-term relationships and ventures in the region. Partnerships and programs are built up over many years, and uninterrupted government support for these endeavours is critical to their future success.”

IRU members welcome well over 33,000 students from Asia, and more than 12% of our research publications are published with partners in Asian institutions.

The white paper provides a clear direction to Australian universities to enhance student mobility in Asia. All IRU members currently offer exchange programs with partners in multiple Asian destinations.

“To build on existing student mobility in Asia, and to ensure our students obtain the greatest value it is essential to build students’ language and cultural capabilities allowing for a more highly engaged, immersive Asian experience.”

“IRU Universities will clearly communicate the benefits of studies in Asian languages and culture to the entire student population, whatever their primary area of study” Professor O’Connor concluded.