UNSW Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer has applauded the vision behind the Federal Government’s Asia white paper and welcomed the recognition that education and innovation are central to achieving its objectives.

“Universities such as UNSW have been focusing on Asia for over 60 years.  We welcome a national approach to deepening our educational, economic and cultural ties with the region," he said. 

“Obviously to realise this vision the Government will need to commit significant resources to fund strategic research projects and programs as well as  the teaching of Asian languages from kindergarten to university, which is of critical importance". 

Professor Hilmer, who is currently in Asia on an annual relationship building visit, has also welcomed the intention to ensure that at least 10 Australian universities rank among the world’s best and maintaining higher education as one of our key export industries. 

“However the challenges ahead are immense, particularly with the massive investment countries such as China and India are making in rapidly expanding their tertiary education systems and building their own world class universities,” he said. 

“As one of the first Australian universities to welcome Asian students under the Colombo Plan, UNSW’s links to the region have always been strong. We look forward to working with the Government to develop the specific policies required to make the White Paper’s vision a reality.” 

Media Contact: Judy Brookman | UNSW Media Office | 9385 3249 or 0421 061 251