Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Australia in the Asian Century

On Sunday, the Australian Government released the long awaited and much anticipated "Australia in the Asian Century White Paper". This seems to have with general acceptance, with criticism being limited to it lacking detail and in particular funding detail. However, this is a white paper, which is intended to set a broad policy direction, not implementation detail.

The paper sets ambition goals for Australian education, including Asian language and cultural studies in schools and increasing the number of top ranking universities in Australia. The former is easier to achieve, by the use of online technology.

Improving the ranking of Australian universities would appear an all but impossible task. A more realistic task would be to maintain 50% of the current ranking. Asian universities are putting considerable financial and intellectual efforts into improving the quality of their universities and there is no reason to think they will not be successful. This is not just a matter of throwing money at the problem, but also applying the same sort of quality management processes to academia which made the Japanese car industry (and more recently Korea), world beating.

ps: By coincidence, I am off to an Indonesian university next week to discuss online ICT sustainability education.
Australia in the Asian Century White Paper


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