Australian mediocrity?

From the Chronicle

Good news for UK HE?

Mediocrity Threatens Australian ‘Brand’ in Higher Education, Official Warns

Australia has lost its edge as a leader in the global-export education industry as universities in the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia discourage their students from indulging in a “sun, surf, and sex” experience down under.

surf

Mr. Gallagher, who leads the Group of Eight, told the audience at a colloquium at the University of Sydney that an Australian education was associated more with a “beer-and-beaches holiday” than a valuable learning experience. His speech amplified fears among the nation’s elite universities that Australian education exports have pursued a bulk rather than a quality strategy, to the point that an Australian degree is perceived as the educational equivalent of one of the country’s cheap chardonnays.

Growth in the international-education sector, the nation’s fourth-largest export industry, which does $9.81-billion (U.S.) of business a year, has stalled in the wake of a rising Australian dollar and diminishing demand in some traditional markets, coupled with the public-relations catastrophe of the University of New South Wales’ recent withdrawal from Singapore.

Whereas there might be a way to make the surfing experience attractive and exclusive, the UNSW problem really seems like it will have long term consequences.

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