Preparing Victorian Students For The Asian Century

Victorian students will be taught to be ‘Asia capable’ thanks to a new training program for school principals.

Minister for Education James Merlino today launched the first Leading Asia Capable Schools course.

The program involves training sessions to help principals make links with Australian and Chinese businesses, and develop work ready ‘Asia capabilities’ in their students.

It also looks at different aspects of Asian culture, language and history and how principals can help students learn about them, as well as a 10-day immersion experience in China at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

The program is run by the Bastow Institute, the Department of Education and Training’s leadership organisation.

China is one of Victoria’s most important relationships and our largest trading partner, with two-way trade between Victoria and China valued at over $20.4 billion and exports reaching $6.5 billion in 2014-15.

The Andrews Labor Government’s China Strategy – Partnerships and Prosperity – will strengthen economic and cultural ties with China, helping create more business opportunities and more jobs for Victorians.

The Leading Asia Capable Schools course supports the China Strategy by developing Asia insights and capabilities across schools and equipping our students with the skills they need to be work ready and succeed in their future careers.

Victoria has a strong education partnership with China, with 172 sister school relationships between Chinese and Victorian schools to support the curriculum, language learning and intercultural understanding

There are 52,000 Victorian students studying a Chinese language and around 1,500 Year 9 students will study in China for six weeks over the next five years as part of the Victorian Young Leaders to China program.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We know that our economy is linked to Asia and this program will help make sure students are not strangers to a continent that will be a key part of their lives.”

“By learning about Asia and visiting it for themselves, the principals will be better placed to instil these lessons in their schools and make sure young people are prepared to engage with an exciting and dynamic part of the world.”