The exchange of students, academics and education officials continues to strengthen the ties between China and Australia, Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said today.
At the end of a four day visit to China with a delegation of higher education leaders, Senator Evans said Australia remained committed to a strong bilateral relationship which stretched beyond trade and economics.
“Education is an excellent bridge between our peoples,” Senator Evans said.
“The continued flow of students and academics enhances understanding in Australia of Chinese language and culture and helps build a long-term, sustainable relationship between our countries.
“Although Australia remains a popular destination for Chinese students, the continuing challenge is to maintain our reputation as a provider of high quality education at every level.”
Senator Evans said the fourth meeting of the Joint Working Group will be held in Canberra in 2011 and will consider stronger co-operation between China and Australia in the VET sector.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Senator Evans also extended an invitation to China’s Minister for Education, Mr Yuan Guiren, to visit Australia in 2011 as a guest of the government.
“Minister Yuan confirmed that China is committed at the highest levels to working with Australia in education and training, and is particularly interested in cooperation in the VET sector,” he said.
“I have seen the substantial and fruitful links already established by Australian universities in China, and the Government is keen to expand these links even further.”
Senator Evans also met a group of Chinese education agents to discuss how best to promote Australia as a high quality and accessible destination for Chinese students.
“The overwhelming view of both the agents and Chinese government officials was that the quality of Australian education is very good and that the sector’s long term prospects are sound,” he said.
“Officials were very supportive of Chinese students studying in Australia and complimentary about the support that the Australian Government and education providers provided to Chinese students.”