Genuine ongoing partnerships between Australian business and industry are critical to the success and competitiveness of Australian international education. Cooperation can enhance graduate employability outcomes, support productivity and growth, improve research investment and output, and encourage technology and innovation transfer.

The Australian Government has entered into free trade agreements with China, South Korea and Japan. These agreements will play an important role in increasing the flow of students between our nations and we will seek to include similar provisions in other free trade agreement negotiations.

In addition to our free trade agreements, the Australian Government has actively sought to enter into memoranda of understanding and other cooperative arrangements with other countries.

We are seeing increased collaboration and partnerships between educational institutions, not just at the tertiary level through research agreements with universities, but increasingly earlier in the education pathway, with sister school arrangements. To help promote these arrangements, the Australian Government was instrumental in establishing the Building Relationships through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing Engagement (BRIDGE) program, which connects Australian teachers, students and school communities with their counterparts across Asia. 

We also recognise the value of the partnerships formed with our global alumni. They make a significant contribution, helping build a firm foundation for future trade and business growth and enhancing cross cultural understanding and relationships. The Australia Global Alumni Engagement Strategy recognises the importance of our talented and diverse global alumni community and fosters lasting, genuine relationships. 

Three international students sitting together at a table in a café. International students enjoying a well-deserved study break. Visiting family and friends of international students contribute to Australia's tourism and hospitality sectors.

Bringing the world into Australian and Chinese classrooms

In 2014, a year five class at Scotch Oakburn College in Launceston, Tasmania, wrote to President Xi Jinping, inviting him to visit Tasmania. The President and his wife took up their offer and included Tasmania on their itinerary. During this trip they met with students from Scotch Oakburn.

President Xi Jinping and his wife extended a reciprocal invitation to the students from Scotch Oakburn College, and in 2015, students and staff visited Jingshan School in Beijing. The two schools have now formalised an exchange relationship, enabling students from each school to experience life in another country.

During a visit to Jingshan School in April 2016, Minister Colbeck met with some of the students and teachers who will be travelling to Scotch Oakburn College later in 2016. The students from Scotch Oakburn had prepared a video in Mandarin, welcoming their Chinese exchange partners to Australia.

The ethos of Jingshan School came from the former President of China, Deng Xiaoping when he said "Education should be geared toward modernisation, toward the world and toward the future." These words have prevailed as the driving force for education reform in China to this day.

Box Hill Institute—a leader in global engagement

Box Hill Institute in Victoria hosts around 800 international students from 50 countries and territories to study in Australia. With a strong history of international engagement, Box Hill was the winner of the 2015 Victorian International Education Award for Excellence in International Education—TAFE.

Delivering courses to more than 5000 students around the world, in conjunction with international campus partners in China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, Box Hill makes transformative partnerships every day.

Box Hill has also harnessed the opportunities of borderless education by establishing in 2007 Box Hill College Kuwait (BHCK).

BHCK is the sole private institute in Kuwait delivering higher education in-country exclusively for women. Programs are accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework and by the Kuwait Private Universities Council and Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education. With a strong commitment to creating a quality learning environment, BHCK is identifying and responding to new opportunities by preparing women in Kuwait for employment and further study.