Strengthening university partnerships Australia-Japan

The Department of Education and Training organised a successful Tokyo symposium on internationalisation in higher education in December 2014.

2014 was a big year in the education relationship between Australia and Japan, particularly for universities. 
In Japan, the government announced its new Top Global University program, which provides ten years of funding to 37 leading universities to support further internationalisation. This and other programs – including the new Tobitate! study abroad initiative – are designed help meet the goal of doubling the number of Japanese students going abroad (and international students in Japan) by the time of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020. Prime Minister Abbott launched the New Colombo Plan in Japan during his visit in April, which was warmly received by Japanese universities and business. And the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) provides for ongoing work between the two governments to increase two-way mobility and promote the mutual recognition of qualifications.
To take advantage of these developments, the Department of Education and Training – in partnership with Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Universities Australia – organised a higher education symposium in Tokyo in December 2014. Senior representatives from 18 Australian universities, 34 Japanese universities and over 30 Japanese companies took part over two days.
The aim of the event was to support more strategic and sustainable university partnerships between Australia and Japan, in turn leading to increased two-way mobility; more strategic research collaboration; development of innovative joint and double degree programs; and expanded student internship opportunities. Positive feedback has been received from participants in relation to the collaborative and innovative approach to the event.
Outcomes already achieved include new and strengthened partnerships between universities and also businesses, and a renewed partnership between Universities Australia and the Japan Association of National Universities. The symposium provided a unique and timely platform for sharing information and positioning Australia and Japan as high-quality partners of choice, working together to take advantage of opportunities arising from the next phase of internationalisation in higher education. 
A copy of the final report ‘Strategies to increase student mobility and strengthen university partnerships’ is available in English | Japanese

For more information contact Paul Harris, Counsellor (Education and Science), Tokyo at