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The Education Destination : The Education Destination
Linking countries through educational relationships Australia is continuing to forge educational relationships around the world and will continue to do so in this global fi nancial crisis, writes Tim Harcourt, Chief Economist with the Australian Trade Commission. ‘There’s a sheriff in town,’ I was told. I never thought I’d hear those John Wayne-like words in real life but it was Austrade’s education adviser Peter Mackey who uttered them. Peter had a real live Sheriff – the Sheriff of Mumbai not the Sheriff of Nottingham – in Sydney to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The Sheriff of Mumbai, Dr Indu Shahani who had a high-level delegation in tow, was keen to forge a strong partnership with UNSW. Dr Shahani, who is also the Dean of Commerce and Economics at the University of Mumbai, sees university exchange as more than just ‘swapping notes and students’ but also forging ‘long-term relationships in innovation, research and development’. As it happened, Dr Shahani was in Australia during the terrible terrorist attacks on her home city, Mumbai, which cost so many lives – including some members of a visiting Australian trade delegation. Naturally, Dr Shahani found the terrorist incidents disturbing but she was also overwhelmed by the vigilance of her students to stand up to terrorism: ‘It is overwhelming to see the positive response from young people. I am getting so many messages from my students saying they want to help out. This is the spirit that is going to fight terrorism.’ 8 In fact, as a result of the MOU, a team of safety and risk experts from UNSW is visiting Mumbai to help with counter- terrorism. Professor Paul Barach, Director of the NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre and Head of UNSW’s School of Safety Science, says: ‘They have a serious crisis on their hands and we can help them in their time of need to understand how to develop the skills to deal with terrorism, injury and harm’. UNSW will help the University of Mumbai in the areas of safety science, risk management, counter- terrorism, nanotechnology, biotechnology and solar energy and will also introduce Hindu studies to assist. Professor Barach was quick to offer the UNSW’s expertise in these areas and the Sheriff of Mumbai wasted no time in putting the MOU into place in the face of the terrible crisis affecting her city. Growing importance of China and India in Australian education The visit from the delegation from India is an example of the growing importance of China and India to Australian education. A recent research report by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) notes that Australia has been experiencing a major boom in education services to both China and India. ABOUT AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION
Australia The Education Destination 2010