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The governments of two major global players in international higher education – Canada and Australia – have recently engaged high-profile panels to consider national-level strategies focused on internationalisation.
In Canada, following approval this summer of a budget plan earmarking significant funds specifically for the development of an international education strategy (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, August 2011), the government has now named an expert advisory panel to advance this work. The group will be chaired by Amit Chakma, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Western Ontario, joined by five other prominent leaders from Canadian higher education and industry. They are tasked with making recommendations to the government specifically on how to develop and implement an international education strategy as part of the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Talent attraction, engagement with priority markets, expanding educational exports and promoting partnerships look to be key areas for consideration by the expert group. Not coincidentally, the panel was announced jointly by three Canadian ministers covering the portfolios of international trade, finance and the Asia-Pacific Gateway, who were together in attendance at the China Education Expo in Beijing. The panel’s report is expected to be made public in early 2012, following consultation with provinces and territories, partners and stakeholders from the education, innovation and business communities across the country.
One day after the Canadians, the Australian Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Chris Evans, announced the formation of a new International Education Advisory Council for his country. This group is mandated to advise the Australian government on the development of a five-year strategy for the sector. Sustainability and quality are key issues under consideration for the 11-person panel, which is to be headed by Michael Chaney, who is a bank and petroleum company chairman, as well as Chancellor of the University of Western Australia. Appointed for two-year terms, the panel members are expected to provide their preliminary feedback on key trends and on current and proposed policies affecting the sector by March 2012.
Not to be outdone, on 7 November, the American Council on Education is due to make public the findings of its ‘blue ribbon panel’ on internationalisation and global engagement, which began its work in October 2010 (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, October 2010).Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Government of Australia, Ministers’ Media Center