May 2, 2016

National Strategy for International Education sets the directions

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) congratulates the Government on the release of the National Strategy for International Education, with the companion documents supporting long-term engagement with international graduates and setting a roadmap to expand further Australia’s role in meeting demand for education across the world.

The Strategy is a key achievement for implementing a shared national vision for a global approach to education and research. It will underpin Australia’s profile as a world leader in international education and research through the Strategy’s three pillars and associated goals and relevant actions.

The IRU strongly supports the application of the Strategy across all Government agencies to ensure coherence of purpose. It is particularly important in welcoming international students to Australia, with settings that ensure that students who follow the rules will have the opportunity to apply to stay longer term.

The IRU looks forward to the revision of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students to integrate it effectively with the national quality assurance systems, ensuring good outcomes and providing protections for all students, whether Australian or international on the same basis.

The inclusion of research throughout the Strategy, but not in its title, recognises the importance of linking Australia’s researchers with researchers and with research users around the world, particularly in Asia.

Producing 3% of world research we need good links with the world research community and the capacity to ensure research outcomes are taken up around the world. The success of the National Innovation and Science Agenda depends on strengthening innovation across Australia linking to international markets and opportunities.

We cannot rely just on existing academic networks to achieve this but require active Government support to establish links and encourage cross-national research. Creation of an Asia Research and Innovation Network would be a major step to support this outcome.

IRU looks forward to working with the new Council for International Education in implementing the Strategy.