Offshore Programs of Australian Universities for Asian Students. Critical Thinking.

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925 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Critical thinking
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International education and training is an integral element of Australias economic vitality and sustainable prosperity. It accounts for the considerable amount of economic wealth and cultural enrichment accounting for about $15.7 billion in 2011 (Common Wealth of Australia, 2015). Due to the increased number of international student enrolment, Australia has internationalized the framework for design as well as delivery of education systems by setting up overseas campuses especially in Asia to benefit international students. Internalization has been attributed to both the educational and economic benefits (Cervini, 2015). Economically, the revenue acquired from overseas campuses contribute to the establishment of world-class facilities improving educational skills for all students. Moreover, benefits such as enhancing broader international engagement have been attributed to the internationalization strategy. Furthermore, setting up campuses overseas increases global standing. Australia is driven by the desire to provide a high-quality experience for students by contributing to the development of foreign education systems.

The establishment of offshore campuses is significant and requires substantial capital outlay. However, the benefits such as tapping into fresh sources of research funding, accessing new sources of talent, as well as broadening educational offering cannot be overlooked. These have been the driving sources for setting up offshore campuses particularly in countries such as China, Vietnam, India, South Korea, and Malaysia who account for the highest number of students enrolled in Australian offshore campuses (Huang, 2007). Some of the institutions with these campuses include the University of Queensland which has five campuses in Malaysia alone, RMIT University which has a campus in Vietnam, and the University of Canberra which has a campus in China (Universities Australia, 2014).


Over the years the Asian region has established more affluence thus increasing the demand for quality education. The rising middle class seeking greater access to educational opportunities has been driving the demand for international education necessitating the setting up of overseas campuses (UNESCO, 2013). Despite the numerous efforts to improve the quality of university education in these countries, the demand for international education curriculums has been on the rise due to demand for highly skilled graduates. This demand has increased encouraged more universities to open up campuses in these countries to cater for the increasing demand. Moreover, the rising middle class is conscious of the reputation attached to a good education system, especially in the work sector.

Access to Technology

Technology is essential in learning. The availability of students databases that enable tracking of students progress enables teachers to identify learning objectives and differentiate instruction based on students needs. Moreover, in the higher education sector technology aids in research, a component that is very essential. Owing to this, many countries are integrating education in learning particularly in the high education sector. In Asian countries, access to technology has been on the rise with South Korea accounting for 94% according to a survey in 2015 (Poushter, 2016). It was the leading country in the world regarding technology access. Moreover, Malaysia accounted for 65% while China accounted for about 60%. According to the same survey, Vietnam accounted for about 50% while India was on the lower side of the divide with about 22%.

Education Systems

The five countries have a legal provision for free and compulsory education for some levels of basic education, particularly in the primary education. An average duration of free and compulsory schooling in these countries is about 7.7 years. In China, free compulsory education is provided up to 9 years. In India, it is provided for 8 years while in Malaysia it is provided for 6 years. Vietnam and South Korea is about 5 and 10 years respectively (UNESCO, 2014). Malaysia provides upper secondary education free of charge, but it is not compulsory. Most countries have 12 years of formal education in primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary levels which are divided as follows:

China 6+3+3 total of 12 years

South Korea 6+3+3 total of 12 years

India 5+3+2+2 total of 12 years

Vietnam 5+4+3 total of 12 years

Malaysia 6+3+2 total of 11 years

In the higher education sector enrolment has experienced explosive growth over the last 20 years. The growth has been attributed to the increase in school participation, perceived importance of advanced education, and growing demand for specialized human resources (UNESCO-UIS, 2014). Across these countries, higher education systems offer a wide range of programs. For Bachelor degree, the average number of years is 3 to 5.

Social Customs

The countries social customs are diverse with differences in ethnicity, religion, and linguistics. For instance, there are over 3500 languages spoken across the region. The main religions of the region are Buddhism, Islam, and Hindu, and Christianity. The main ethnicities in China, Vietnam, and South Korea are Han, Yamato, Mongol, and Korean. India and China have influenced most of these countries.



Cervini, E. (2015). Competition for international students on the horizon. The Sydney Morning Herald. Wealth of Australia. (2013). Australia-Educating Globally: Advice from the International Education Advisory Council. Common Wealth Australia.

Huang, F. (2007). Internationalization of higher education in the developing and emerging countries: A focus on transnational higher education in Asia. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3-4), 421-432.

Poushter, J. (2016). Internet access growing worldwide but remains higher in advanced economies. Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2014). Higher Education in Asia: Expanding Out, Expanding Up. The rise of graduate education and university research. UNESCO-UIS.

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. (2014).Education Systems in ASEAN+6 Countries: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Educational Issues. UNESCO.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. (2013). The International Mobility of Students in Asia and the Pacific. UNESCO.

Universities Australia. (2014). Offshore Programs of Australian Universities. Universities Australia.


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