Expanding Taylor's Links 'Downunder'
Prof. Perry Hobson, the PVC for Global Engagement, recently attended the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) in Adelaide that has been organised by the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). The focus of this trip was to connect and re-connect with the many top-ranked Australian universities we have been working with for many years, as well as to identify and follow-up on potential connections with other Australian universities. Given the location in Adelaide, additional meetings were also held outside the conference with the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide (given our recent hosting of a group of their law students by the Taylor's Law School) and also the University of South Australia or UniSA (given our long links with them and the recently announced articulation arrangement with their School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences). There is now also much more interest in talking about student mobility to Asia, given the funding that has been put into the New Colombo Plan initiatives by the Australian Federal Government, and we hope to be welcoming more Australian students in the near future. Over 1,100 attendees from 37 countries and 380 organisations attended the conference, and the newly appointed Australian Minister for Education and Training, Hon. Simon Birmingham addressed delegates in a Plenary Session. Australia is also one of the first countries to have another minister, Hon. Richard Colbeck with the combined portfolio as Minister for Tourism & International Education.
One of the other Keynote Speakers was Ms. Christy Sword-Gusmao (AO) who has long been referred to as the "First Lady of East Timor" given marriage to the former Prime Minister and President, and her involvement in the country's struggle for independence. An Australian by birth, she is also the founding Director of the Alola Foundation, and spoke passionately about the challenges facing a new country - and more specifically about the needs of education for women in Timor Leste. The Taylor's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts has recently completed a Australian (AusAID) government funded project that was led by Dr Frederic Bouchon, and the focus of this project had been to train up hotel staff in two locations in East Timor to international standards. For more information on the Taylor's University Global Strategic Plan please visit Taylor's official website.