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Australian Education International
Australian Education International (AEI) is the international arm of the new Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE). AEI’s vision is for Australia to be recognised as a regional and world leader in education and training excellence and a partner of choice for international collaboration.
AEI fosters international partnerships, ensures quality, and enhances international students’ experiences through our National Office in Canberra and in 16 offices in Australian diplomatic missions in North Asia (Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei), South and South East Asia (New Delhi, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur), America (Washington) and Europe (Paris and Brussels).
The AEI office in Bangkok was the first offshore office of AEI and was opened by then Australian Minister for Education in December 1994.
The key functions of AEI are:
International cooperation in education and training
• Manage Government–to–government education policy engagement.
• Bilateral cooperation including cooperation agreements, Joint Working Groups, educational/training input to free trade agreement negotiations, and multilateral forums.
• Support for academic and institutional policy engagement and exchange.
International education quality and regulation
• Manage the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and associated legislative framework and activities.
• Implement Government’s response to the Baird Review.
• Supporting the implementation of Government policy in relation to the higher education and vocational education and training sectors.
International education research and information
• Develop international education statistics and research.
• Manage international student data (for publication by Austrade through its Market Information Package).
• Provide information on host country education policy.
• Manage the Endeavour Awards scholarships under the Australia Awards program.
• Liaise and engage with foreign government agencies on inbound and outbound scholarship opportunities.
• Develop and provide information on regulatory requirements and Australian education issues to education agents.
• Monitor provider obligations under the ESOS Act.
• Engage with other governments concerning overseas education agents.
• Manage international qualifications recognition including educational and professional recognition information services and support.
• Lead the implementation of the Council of Australian Governments’ International Student Strategy. The strategy seeks to improve the experience of international students in Australia and in turn benefit all of Australian society.
• Manage the Joint Committee on International Education secretariat.
• Ensure a whole–of–government approach to international education.
Australian Education International in Thailand
AEI Bangkok manages the Australia-Thailand education relationship and works with the Thai Ministry of Education on a range current priority issues related to education and training policy and systems. These include the recognition of qualifications, quality assurance, curriculum development and institutional governance arrangements including the development of a National Qualifications Framework and other policy issues across all levels of education. AEI also works closely with Australian and Thai institutions to facilitate partnership collaboration and linkages, staff and student exchange, cooperation in research and development and university credit transfer arrangements.
Specific activities and functions of AEI Bangkok
• Providing high level strategic policy advice to the Australian Government on Thai education and training issues;
• Developing and strengthening government-to-government links through engagement with the Ministry of Education (Office of the Permanent Secretary (OPS); Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC); Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC); Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC); Office of the Education Council (OEC)), Ministry of Science and Education and other agencies such as Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand (KNIT), the office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC) and the Australian Studies Centre at Thammasat University.
• Specific initiatives where AEI is cooperating include:
- the reform of Thai university governance arrangements, including the development of risk management strategies;
- the development of a National Qualification Framework in Thailand for the VET and Higher Education sectors;
- the reform of the Thai vocational education and training system;
- VET capacity building and engagement with Industry;
- The development of civics education curriculum in the Thai schools system; and
- The exchange of expertise and capacity building on curriculum and professional development for TESOL teachers in schools with a view to improving the English language teaching capacity in Thai primary and secondary schools.
• Manage and promote the Endeavour Awards as the part of the Australia Awards program;
• Facilitate and foster research and collaborative linkages and exchange programs between Australian and Thai education institutions; and
• Support certain activities of the alumni networks in Thailand.
In Thailand, AEI also manages the Australian Government’s engagement with the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) and the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of UNESCO.
Background to the Thai-Australia Education Relationship
Cooperation in education, science and training is a central and significant aspect of the bilateral relationship between Australia and Thailand. The education relationship is mature and developed with a focus on policy dialogue, information sharing and partnerships rather than aid/development assistance.
The longstanding education and training relationship between Australia and Thailand, going back to the early days of the Colombo Plan scholarship program, was put onto a more formal basis initially in 1991, with the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries on education. That MOU was signed between the then Department of Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) and the then Thai Ministry of University Affairs and promoted and supported a program of information, staff and student exchanges, collaborative research and development, and institutional links including joint degree programs.
An MOU with the Thai Ministry of Education, signed in June 1994, substantially extended that cooperation to the schools and vocational education sectors and provided for cooperation in primary and secondary schooling, technical and para-professional training, non-formal education, professional development of educators and distance education.
A new MOU on cooperation in education and training was signed between the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and the Thai Ministry of Education in Canberra on 5 July 2004. That MOU replaced the two MOUs signed in 1991 and a 1994.
A new MOU will be signed in 2012 to renew and reinforce the strong education and training linkages between Australia and Thailand. This new MOU will encourage and facilitate cooperation between government, educational and training institutions. Fields of cooperation under the MOU may include:
a. Vocational education and training;
b. Higher education;
c. Strategic planning and management in education, research and training;
d. Curriculum development and benchmarking of educational outcomes;
e. Distance education;
f. English and Thai language training;
g. Student, education personnel and academic exchange;
h. Qualifications recognition; and
i. Education management training
Endeavour Awards Scholarship Program – Study opportunities for students, researchers and professionals
The Endeavour Awards is the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East Europe and Americas regions to undertake study, research and professional development in any field of study in Australia. Awards are also available for Australians to do the same in selected countries, including India.
Citizens of Thailand are eligible to apply for the following Endeavour Award categories:
Endeavour Postgraduate Awards
The Endeavour Postgraduate Awards provide financial support for international students for up to 4 years to undertake a postgraduate qualification at a Masters or PhD level either by coursework or research in any field of study in Australia. These Awards are valued at up to $228,500.
Endeavour Research Fellowships
Endeavour Research Fellowships provide financial support for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows from participating countries to undertake short-term research (4-6 months), in any field of study, in Australia. These Awards are valued at up to $23,500.
Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowships
Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowships provide financial support for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows from participating Asian countries to undertake short-term research (4-6 months), in any field of study, in Australia. These Awards are valued at up to $23,500.
Endeavour Executive Awards
Endeavour Executive Awards provide professional development opportunities (1-4 months) for high achievers in business, industry, education or government from participating countries. The Awards focus on building skills and knowledge through a host work environment rather than through formal enrolment in a study program at a host institution and are not intended to fund direct academic research. These Awards are valued at up to $18,500.
Endeavour Vocational Education and Training (VET) Awards
The Endeavour Vocational Education & Training (VET) Awards provide financial support for up to 2.5 years for international students from participating countries to undertake vocational education at a Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree in any field of study in Australia. Vocational Education & Training provides occupational or work-related knowledge and skills. The courses are traditionally non-academic and directly related to a trade, occupation or 'vocation' in which the applicant participates. These courses exclude degree and higher level programs normally delivered by universities. These Awards are valued at up to $119,500.
AEI Bangkok also has responsibility for select education cooperation activities with the Philippines and Burma (Myanmar).
AEI officers are available Monday to Friday 09.00-17.00 hours. To contact our staff, please telephone Bangkok +66 (0)2 344 6493, +66 (0)2 344 6491, or +66 (0)2 344 6490 (fax: 02 344 6303)
• For more information on the work of AEI Bangkok please visit http://www.thailand.embassy.gov.au/bkok/Aus-Thai_relation_AEI.html
• For more information on the Endeavour Awards / Australia Awards, please visit: www.AustraliaAwards.gov.au
• For information about studying in Australia please visit http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/thailand and http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
• For information the promotion and marketing of Australian education services in Thailand, please contact Austrade in Bangkok on +66 (0)2 696 4800