A trade deal with Indonesia: Group of Eight sets out what universities will need

Expanding Australian education in Indonesia will take much more than settling on trade terms.

“A new agreement is long overdue, Indonesia is a significant emerging market both in students and research, says Group of Eight CEO Vicki Thomson. However, she warns there are still big issues in education and research to work through.

The Go8 says Australia needs to secure three things in the study space

* a comprehensive accreditation framework including on-line courses

* provisions for both countries to establish campuses in the other

* addressing visa processes and conditions to encourage Indonesians to study in Australia

There are broader issues to address in research. Indonesia ranks 59th for ARC funded collaborative research projects, plus Indonesian academics look to the US and Europe rather than Australia for partnerships; “there is a perception in Indonesian universities that collaboration with European and North American partners is likely to provide the greatest return in terms of publications and citations,” Ms Thomson says.

The Group of Eight says Canberra can strengthen research ties by:

* joint research incentives, including targeted, competitive grants scheme

* convincing the Indonesian Government to make it easier for foreign companies there to hire skilled Australians for long-term contracts

*  ensuring “greater opportunities” for Indonesian graduates to work in Australia.


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