АвстралияInternational education is a lynchpin in Australia’s innovation agenda, Australian Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham underlined at Universities Australia’s national conference held in Canberra last week, where discussions focused on global research partnerships and equipping students for the future jobs market.

Speaking at the annual conference dinner at Parliament House, Birmingham once again reiterated the goals of the upcoming national strategy for international education to “target opportunity for Australia in the borderless space… [and] ensure Australia is a partner of choice for research and investment across the education spectrum” as well as attracting even greater international student numbers.

Australian universities are very highly regarded globally. Apart from contributing to the vibrancy of our campuses, the participation of international students also contributes to growth in other sectors of the Australian economy, and fosters relationships that in turn will enhance global collaboration that perfectly complements the government’s innovation vision.

The new strategy aligns with the National Innovation and Science Agenda, Birmingham said, which was announced last year and includes a A$1.1bn government investment to “incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, reward risk taking, and promote science, maths and computing”.

Fostering closer links between industry and higher education will be crucial in the coming years, educators and industry representatives at the conference agreed, as the sector debated how best to promote research excellence and prepare graduates for the dynamically changing jobs market.