2 November 2012
The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has received a relatively lukewarm reception from the university sector, being described by one commentator as having “vaulting ambitions equally matched by a limited set of policy ideas for institutional reform”. The ATN welcomed the paper and its heavy focus on the role of universities in delivering greater strength to our ties in the region, but said without prioritisation and funding commitments the objectives simply could not be implemented – no matter how worthy they might be.
The sector acknowledged that the government’s $37 million AsiaBound program will go a long way toward meeting the objective of substantially increasing the number of university students studying at least part of their degrees in Asia. The program will assist up to 10,000 students with grants of between $2000 and $5000 to undertake short or semester length study exchanges, and $1000 grants for preparatory Asian language study.