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100 delegates participated in the ACBC Education Forum at The Windsor Hotel on 29 October. A panel expert speakers covered the topic of ‘Educating Secondary School Students from China : The Next Wave’.
Our Senior Vice President, Mr Ben Foskett, spoke of the importance of ACBC’s role in facilitating discussion on matters relating to business and trade and that given education is Victoria’s No. 1 export, this forum was of particular relevance. Overseas families hold the standard of education provided by Victorian schools in high regard and schools needed to be informed of trends and changes in Government regulations in order to avail themselves of this potential market of students from foreign countries and, in particular, those from China.
Our forum topic arose following the Government’s amendment to the regulations in March this year allowing younger students from China to study in Years 7 and 8 in Australian schools. This change raised many questions on the preparedness of schools to cater for these teenagers’ education, pastoral care, guardianship, mentoring, physical needs such as homestay or boarding, the emotional impact on them of living in a foreign country, to name a few.
The Chair of the ACBC Education Sub-Committee, Professor On Kit Tam, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor at RMIT, chaired the proceedings and introduced the panel of speakers :
The luncheon speaker, Mr Michael Gavrilidis, Manager International Education Division of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, gave the Government’s perspective on the changes to the regulations and challenges faced by schools.
Panelists and our guest speaker were generous with their time and in sharing their expertise and opinions during the Q & A sessions following their presentations.
We were honoured to have Mr Chi Gan, Consul, Education Office, Consulate General of PR China in attendance and to know that he will brief the Consul in Melbourne on matters highlighted in the forum. We look forward to working closely with the Consulate in the future on this and other matters of bilateral importance.
ACBC will work through our Education Sub-Committee, Chaired by Professor On Kit Tam, to highlight further matters of interest to you relating to education.