Engaging China through Education

Beijing, China

Speech, check against delivery

13 March 2011

Good evening everyone, I am delighted to be here at the Australian Embassy in Beijing and participate in this important event.

It is my pleasure to acknowledge:

The Director-General of the CSE, Mr Bai Zhangde.
Our strong supporter, CPA Australia.
Ladies and Gentleman

Education is one of the core features of Australia’s strong bilateral relationship with China. Education adds a critically important dimension to our relationship by strengthening our people to people linkages and derives mutual benefits for both countries.

And that relationship through education is both broad and deep. It represents far more than just the large number of Chinese students who choose to study in Australia it comprises:

Australia is well-recognised here in China as a trusted and reliable provider of high quality education services for Chinese students and we want to strengthen that deserved reputation.

All Australian governments acknowledge and value the contribution to Australian life of international students who come from all over the world to study, live and work.

International students enrich Australian communities, bringing energy, diversity and new ways of seeing things. They expand Australia's global networks and link us to the world. Their high-quality life experiences in Australia contribute to our regional and global standing.

This is why all Federal, State and Territory governments in Australia agreed last year to new International Strategy for International Students for Australia. This will ensure that Australia’s reputation as a high quality international student destination continues into the future.

Earlier today, it was my pleasure to attend the China International Education Exhibition Tour event. I welcome the presence of so many Australian education providers and the strong interest so many Chinese students have in studying in Australia.

Building enduring links with our partners overseas is of course perhaps the strongest outcome from international student exchange. And this is especially the case with the relationship shared by Australia and China. Our enduring people to people linkages are of course very much in evidence here tonight with members of the Australia China Alumni Association of which Ambassador Raby is the patron.

I congratulate the work of the Association and its founder, Mr Edward Smith, and look forward to meeting the Association’s members and hearing of their own experiences.

Thank you.

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