International education : a new model
International students want an education in English to fit them for post-school global opportunities - but do they have to leave home to get it? One has to wonder at what cost for the young person comes an education far from home, in an unfamiliar culture, with limited language and communication skills. There are alternatives - safer and less expensive for the student's family that meet the needs of international students for an education in the English language and at the same time satisfying the income ambitions of Australian education providers. Some Australian institutions, mainly tertiary, have experimented with alternative approaches, a few taking curriculum programs and offering them in packaged or modified form in offshore locations. Some have opened campuses in joint venture or partnering relationships, or as stand-alone offshore institutions. Beyond these long-term financial relationships there is a wide range of limited, usually short-term but mutually beneficial connections between Australia and foreign education interests: exchange programs for students, teachers or lecturers, sabbaticals and lecture tours, service learning projects, cultural tours and so on. This article examines one school program in particular, Presbyterian Ladies' Colleges' offshore model in Hanoi, which is supplying the Australian component to the Vietnam Australia School. VAS Hanoi commenced with 140 Vietnamese secondary students in Years 6, 7 8 and 10; in 2009-2010 its roll stands at 550 students. PLC has developed a new credential, the Australian International Schools Certificate, which will be issued at the end of Year 12 for the first time in 2010. By the end of 2010 VAS Hanoi will grow to 800 students. [Author abstract, ed]
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