Australian universities are proactively forging relations with their counterparts overseas – for example, the joint-venture research academy between Monash and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay (IITB) – and are also involved in setting up ‘global classrooms’ through advancements in Internet technology. Teicher, however, doesn’t believe cross-border electronic study will ever be ‘The Way’ things are done.
‘The whole importance of travel is that you can meet with people and gain a level of understanding that we don’t yet have the capacity to achieve through high-speed, high-definition Internet connection,’ he argues.
Higher education has been identified as crucial to Australia’s future development, and while the full extent of financial support from the federal government has been adversely affected by the global financial crisis (with the promised $7 billion revamp now likely to be staggered over several years), its universities are doing their best to ensure that, in terms of national prosperity, if education really is ignorance, then ignorance should turn into bliss.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES IN THE-QS TOP 100
Australian National University (16) University of Sydney (37) University of Melbourne (38) University of Queensland (43) University of New South Wales (45) Monash University (47) University of Western Australia (83)
Australia‘s Deakin University helps rebuild Aceh’s education system
A new initiative from Deakin University shows that international cooperation between universities is about more than student exchanges and joint research ventures. Exemplifying the notion of corporate social responsibility, Deakin will train a number of teachers from Aceh to help rebuild the Indonesian province’s education system and infrastructure shattered by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.
Aceh was the region hardest hit by the tsunami, and among the 128,000 dead were 500 university lecturers and 2876 teachers. As part of a social rebuilding programme, 20 Achenese students will come to Deakin University to study for a Master of Education degree in Trimester 2, 2009, under a scholarship programme to encourage the training of a new generation of teachers.
Under the programme, 20 Aceh graduates aged 23 to 30 will undertake
the Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics (RECSAM)
Diploma in Malaysia, with English as the language of instruction. Assuming they achieve an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 6.5, the 20 best-performing students will then proceed to Deakin for the Master of Education course.
Nor is this a one-off incident, as the programme is expected to be repeated with Aceh government support for the next four years.
According to Professor Sally Walker, Deakin University’s Vice-Chancellor, ‘the impact of the 2004 tsunami on the Aceh province, and its teaching community, was devastating. Deakin University will train a new generation of teachers. Deakin is. proud to be associated with this significant step for the province. The province has rightly recognised that high-quality education is the key to its rebuilding and to its future development.’