Research collaboration underpins Australia’s long-standing relationship with ASEAN

5 March 2024

Research collaboration and education partnerships between ASEAN nations and Australia will continue to underpin and build regional resilience in a challenging geopolitical environment and will be a focus of the CEO Forum of the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne today.

Group of Eight (Go8) Chief Executive Vicki Thomson will represent Australia’s leading research-intensive universities at the CEO Forum which will bring together influential leaders from Australia and ASEAN nations.

“Our research and education partnerships have strongly underpinned the development of the ASEAN-Australian relationship and regional collaboration over the last five decades. They will play an even more vital role in the next 50 years where knowledge, skills and capabilities are most needed to drive economic integration and technological advances, and to navigate the shared challenges ahead and build regional resilience in a volatile geopolitical environment.

“Fostering stronger partnerships between universities, industry and Governments across the region will be crucial to addressing the shared challenges we face such as climate change; skills shortages; tackling food, energy, and health insecurity; and ensuring peace and stability given the increasingly complex geopolitics,” said Ms Thomson.

“The high-quality research undertaken with Go8 universities will play a pivotal role in building a more sustainable and prosperous region. Go8 universities enrol nearly 40% of total higher education ASEAN enrolments in Australia, including more than one third of ASEAN students at the postgraduate level.

The Go8, representing Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, and with seven members ranked in the top 100 universities in the world, has a well-established relationship with ASEAN.

“Our universities have established collaborative research initiatives, student exchange programs; and some also have set up international campuses in Southeast Asian countries. These education and research partnerships are not only delivering significant economic and social benefits, but also support our soft diplomacy efforts through enduring people-to-people ties, helping to build a peaceful, stable, open and prosperous region.

The Go8 and the ASEAN Heads of Missions have held successful regular dialogues over recent years to discuss practical opportunities for greater collaboration, to drive skills, trade, economic growth across the region.

Ms Thomson said today’s Education and Skills Roundtable will help identify key priorities and opportunities for further engagement with ASEAN partners. This will include measures to position Australian as the destination of choice for high quality Southeast Asian students, researchers and business partners.

“A high-quality, highly trained, globally engaged network of researchers should be considered a fundamental part of Australia’s and ASEAN’s skill base.”

The Group of Eight is committed to building enduring research and education partnerships based on quality and collaboration to strengthen regional engagement and support our regional prosperity, security and resilience.

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