Building on opportunities in education, training and skills with one of Australia’s closest regional neighbours were the focus today of bilateral meetings between Australian and Indonesian Education ministers.

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham, and Minister for Tourism and International Education Senator Richard Colbeck, today met Indonesian Minister for Education and Culture Dr Anies Baswedan in Canberra to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

Minister Birmingham said Dr Baswedan’s visit was a great opportunity to further build on the close ties between Australia and Indonesia in the areas of education and training.

“Educational opportunities have enabled Australians and Indonesians to develop deeper cultural awareness and mutual understanding,” Minister Birmingham said.

“We have a shared desire to ensure our schools, vocational education and higher education systems provide the skilled workers our countries need for the future.”

Senator Colbeck said 13,700 Indonesian students were studying in Australia in 2014, the ninth largest overseas country representation in our education institutions.

“A fortnight ago I met with Minister Baswedan during the Indonesia-Australia Business Week in Indonesia. We had a very warm and productive discussion so I was glad to have the opportunity to reciprocate and continue our dialogue in Australia,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Of all Indonesians who study abroad, nearly one in five choose Australia for its reputation of providing high-quality and globally relevant education. To encourage global mobility of students, our signature initiative, the New Colombo Plan, is supporting thousands of Australian students to study in Indonesia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Indonesia is one of the New Colombo Plan’s most popular study destinations, with 2000 students studying in Indonesia over its first three years – comprising about 20 per cent of the total across the Indo-Pacific.

“Australia and Indonesia will continue to work together to build opportunities through education and training linkages to ensure our people have the skills and cultural understanding to contribute to a prosperous future.”

Senator Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Senator Colbeck’s media contact: Rachelle Miller 0475 804 886