If Epictetus had it right, then Australia can proudly hold their title as ‘Land of the Free’. As an Australian, I am proud to be currently enrolled within our tertiary education system. I strongly believe it is one of the things our government has got right. As institutions, universities embody social, economic and intellectual resources which combine to generate benefits on a local, national and global scale. Of the approximately one million students enrolled in universities across Australia, international students make up around 300,000 of these. This varies across campus’ with the rate of international students varying widely between 3% and 46%.
Australia is quick to boast that they have one of the highest “shares of tertiary-educated adults” however, these shares would vary greatly if it were not for the “international students”. The increase in international students has sparked interest within the Australian government as “International education is Australia’s third or fourth largest export industry”. The government seeks to “continue to improve the effectiveness of governance and regulation in international education”.
1.Reputation of chosen qualification (reported by 95 per cent of respondents);
2. Reputation of chosen institution (94 per cent); and
3. Reputation of Australia’s education system (93 per cent).
The study showed with overwhelming evidence that it is the quality of the education provided as well as Australia’s educational reputation that draws International students to Australian campus’.
Whilst this unique language is not often found on the pages of a textbook or exam booklet, “research suggests that there is an interconnection between
English language proficiency and social interaction”. The government recognises the best way to overcome this is through social interactions between domestic and international students, Such interactions not only strengthen the students’ language proficiency in English and their communicative competence but also their confidence and sense of agency.
Whilst Tertiary education in Australia is highly successful and sought after, the international or intercultural educational experience is not as “rich…as it could be”.
In order to demonstrate the value of learning and education worldwide, I will leave you on a happier note. With some words from some of the best mentors and teachers fiction has to offer!