Message from the AAED Convenor 
July 2022

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Greetings to our readers and welcome to this mid-year update from the ASEAN Australia Education Dialogue AAED. A selection of recent articles have been curated for this issue.

 

Upcoming AAED Webinar

We look forward to you joining us at the August 2nd Webinar on “Digital Transformation (DX) in the Higher Education Sector in Southeast Asia and Australia''. The country focus will be on Brunei and highlight the DX experience of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) as well as that of Curtin University, Australia which has campuses in Singapore and Malaysia.

 

The opening address will be by a senior representative of the Australian High Commission. We include here a link on Facebook and LinkedIn to the impressive inauguration message given by Australia's new High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, His Excellency Luke Arnold, on presenting his credentials. 

 

Brunei’s higher education sector has been at the forefront of boosting its digital transformation while also focusing on strengthening international education research partnerships. UBD’s Sultan Hassanal Bokiah Institute of Education has led a number of research projects and contributed to publications that address key questions and issues in Transnational Education and Student Mobility.

Australia's new government and its focus on relations with Southeast Asia

Australia’s relations with ASEAN are having a refresh and reset after the May 2022 election of a new Australian Labor Party (ALP) government. The election was notable for the large number of women and increased representation from members with culturally diverse backgrounds. The government will need to work closely with an expanded independent cross bench in both the House or Representatives and the Senate.

 

The new government has confirmed an increased commitment to strengthening ASEAN regional partnerships focused on addressing the priority areas of Climate Change, Health Security and Maritime Security. Australia and Indonesia share the world's longest maritime border, a fact that clearly illustrates Australian and ASEAN geographic centrality.

 

Australia’s new Foreign Minister, Senator Penny Wong, was born in Malaysia and moved to Adelaide with her parents as a young girl where, on finishing high school, she attended the University of Adelaide. In the short time since taking office in May 2022, Senator Wong has already made a number of high profile and successful visits to Asia and the Pacific to meet her counterparts and present the regional priorities of the new government. Each of the priority areas of engagement have an education and skills training dimension and AAED will be focusing on these in our activity program for 2022/23.

 

ELT's best practice and quality assurance in Southeast Asia

AAED is currently developing a work plan for our partnership with the ASEAN University Network (AUN) and Australia’s National ELT Accreditation Scheme (NEAS). This is in response to the AUN request to help address the need for quality assurance support, curriculum development and best practice in English language teaching and centre management across AUN member universities.

English is the official language of ASEAN and with increased scholarship and research partnership opportunities, there is a growing need to improve English language ability as a key driver of internationalisation. 

 

Addressing climate change in Southeast Asia  

In response to Climate Change as a priority area for ASEAN, we are working with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) Vietnam and the Jakarta based ASEAN Secretariat to host a series of webinars and associated activities to support Climate Change Education in the higher education and schools sector across ASEAN. Australian universities performed particularly well in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2022, that assess universities against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). We will work with Australian and regional organisations, while referencing the UN SDGs and Agenda 2030.

 

Vietnam is the nominated Education Chair of ASEAN for 2022/23 and in 2023, Australia and Vietnam will celebrate 50 years of Diplomatic Relations. 2023 will also be another important year for Indonesia, which will take over the chairmanship of ASEAN the year after hosting the 2022 G20 Heads of Government meetings. 

 

AAED 2023 in Indonesia

Planning is underway to host a face to face ASEAN-Australia Education Dialogue (AAED) in Indonesia in late 2023. This will provide an opportunity for  key stakeholders to continue the dialogue around the key issues impacting ASEAN Australian education relations.It will also help build the people to people links that underpin government to government regional frameworks for cooperation. 

 

Best wishes,

 

Michael Fay

Convenor AAED