Hard loss of soft power in international education

Australia’s international education industry booms on breaking new records for student numbers and revenues just about monthly. But the focus on hard cash blurs the soft power the industry generates. As Vicky Thomson from the Group of Eight puts it; “Australia’s international education industry is about so much more than revenueinternational students today are the industry leaders of tomorrow who will go into the world and promote Australia throughout their careers,” (via Twitter).

Smart women Ms Thomson.  While Australia needs all the friends it can cultivate in China it also needs more mates in other Asian nations. But as Frank Larkins from the L H Martin Institute warns; fewer students from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan came to study in Australia last year than in 2002 (CMM July 19). ““Students educated in Australia do provide an important bridge back to their home nationality,” he suggests.


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