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A message from Austrade to our international education partners (21 April 2020)

21 Apr 2020

While the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of innovation to support students in these current times, it is not the first time our education sector has harnessed the power of digital to the meet the changing needs of a global market.

Australia pioneered distance education programs such as School of the Air, Open Universities Australia and other correspondence programs, which have delivered quality educational services to learners across Australia for decades. Today, we have more than 600 edtech companies and 1400 providers of online education in Australia, generating approximately $A8.1 billion in revenue.

The COVID-19 disruption has undoubtedly created challenges for the sector, but what are the opportunities for leveraging digital capabilities to improve the study experience?

  • Austrade has launched a ‘Study with Australia’ pilot, in partnership with FutureLearn, to promote an Australian higher education showcase of online courses. The pilot will offer free, taster courses to a worldwide audience as part of a global campaign running from April – June 2020. Australian universities are invited to participate in this online learning showcase and are included in an Australian online directory with FutureLearn, which has over 12 million learners globally.
  • We continue to work closely with our partner EduGrowth and are proud of the home grown companies that are helping the world’s education systems manage remote and online teaching. In March, Austrade and the Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) hosted a webinar on delivering online education into China. Presenters from Microsoft, Alibaba Cloud and EduGrowth discussed accessibility, internet speed, and content delivery challenges and opportunities. A list of online platform solutions to assist providers and the webinar recording is available on the Austrade Resource Hub.
  • Austrade is also reshaping future student recruitment event delivery in the face of the COVID-19 disruption. The objective is not simply a digital version of a traditional recruitment fair, but an enhanced virtual experience that harnesses existing and emerging technologies, delivers real-time student insights, and reinforces Australia’s reputation as a global innovator in international education. In the coming weeks, Austrade will also host a webinar featuring speakers from virtual event platforms to share their experience and insights.

We know that there are challenging times, but we are confident that Australian education can and will rise to the challenge, building on our strong track record of innovation. There has never been a more important time for us to learn, adapt and be #InThisTogether.