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Australia’s new gov to cut red tape; launches Win your Future competition

Less than a month after Australia’s newly elected coalition government has taken power, party leaders have wasted no time in prioritising international education marketing, reducing regulatory red tape and reviewing post-study work policies.

Students can compete to win a full-year of study by designing a digital postcard depicting their dreams for the future

The winner of the "Win your Future Unlimited" will have their choice of attending any of the 22 sponsoring institutions

This week, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb launched an online competition to promote Australia in traditional and emerging markets. The winner will receive one year of study in Australia in 2014, including flights, tuition, accommodation, a stipend and an opportunity for an internship.

Taking advantage of “Future Unlimited“,  Australia’s brand for the promotion of Australian education internationally, the “Win your Future Unlimited” competition will ask students to design digital post cards depicting their future and how an Australian education could help them realise it.

“It will encourage thousands of potential international students to consider Australia as their study destination and will reinforce positive perceptions about Australian education,” Robb wrote in The Australian this week.

“There’s much we can do to reduce the burden of regulation, red tape and reporting by addressing some of the issues around TEQSA”

The competition will run for seven weeks but before the winner is announced on 17 December 2013, seven finalists will fly to Australia for a ten-day study tour, including visits to tertiary institutions across the country. The ultimate winner will have their choice of attending any of the 22 sponsoring institutions which include tertiary education and vocational training providers for a year.

The competition is further supported by  Educational Testing Services (ETS), National Australia Bank, Qantas, Telstra and the University of New South Wales.

International education is the country’s largest services industry and the fourth largest export contributing $15 billion to the economy.

In his first interview as Education Minister, Christopher Pyne affirmed the newly elected government’s commitment to “repair” the sector. He said he wanted to review the current policies on post-study work rights and streamlining of visas.

Thomson Ch’ng, National President of the Council for International Students Australia (CISA) has said Pyne’s comments are a “great opportunity towards a great beginning for the new Coalition government to ‘repair’ international education through close consultation with the sector and most importantly, the student body.”

He also specifically mentioned changes to the national regulator Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). Set up in January 2012, he said it was a “a good initiative, but it’s gone from being a risk-based assessment of higher education institutions into a one-size-fits-all approach.

“This is stifling creativity in the higher education system. There’s much we can do to reduce the burden of regulation, red tape and reporting by addressing some of the issues around TEQSA.”

Pyne said any reforms would follow the Review of Higher Education Regulation report released last month. Educators welcomed the paper’s support for more light-handed regulation and self-regulation among providers.


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