$85 million boost for education in the Pacific
31 August, 2012
Photo / AusAID
Australia will provide $85 million over four years to strengthen technical, vocational and higher education across the Pacific.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said this major new initiative will improve tertiary education across the Pacific and help boost economic growth and productivity in the Pacific.
Priority will be given to improving the quality of tertiary courses in engineering, construction, maritime transport, education and health. This support will help industry to boost productivity and innovation in the areas of most need.
Australia has committed $18 million for 2000 student places in pre-tertiary bridging courses and $32 million towards graduating 2300 students with internationally recognised tertiary qualifications. Half of the students benefiting from the initiative will be female.
A further $35 million will be invested in education systems and infrastructure to connect at least 30 tertiary institutions in seven countries to the internet and to improve teaching, learning, research and administration.
A Pacific research and education network will be established to lift the Pacific tertiary sector into the digital age and help institutions overcome geographic and communication limitations.
Many Pacific tertiary institutions struggle to provide basic email, internet and online research support to their staff or students.
This inhibits good teaching, learning, research and institutional management. It also makes it difficult to attract international teachers and researchers and constrains cross-institutional collaboration and resource sharing.
AusAID estimates that for every 100 children entering primary school in the Pacific region only three enter a university and another three enter other post-secondary training.
Many qualifications are not recognised beyond national borders, limiting labour mobility and ultimately constraining economic growth across the Pacific.
This initiative will give young people the opportunity to receive regionally and internationally recognised technical, vocational and higher education qualifications.
The qualifications will focus on areas of high employer demand, as well as targeting areas that are essential for economic growth and development.
This investment is in addition to Australia’s ongoing commitment to the Australia Pacific Technical College. The current phase of Australian support, $152 million over four years, will see 3,450 Pacific Islanders graduate with internationally recognised qualifications.
Last Reviewed: 31 August, 2012