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Go8 Statement: Free Trade Agreement takes university relationships in China to new level

The Group of Eight (Go8) universities welcomes the landmark Free Trade Agreement with China signed today.

“It is the welcome vehicle that can enable a significant step forward in China-Australia university cooperation and agreements,” says Vicki Thomson Chief Executive of the Go8.

“China is already one of Australia’s most important partners in education and research and the Go8 already enjoys robust and successful relationships with Chinese Universities, such as with China’s acclaimed “China 9” research-intensive universities. And, as recently as April the Go8 signed a collaborative framework with the prestigious China Scholarship Council. Now this important agreement enables both countries to advance those relationships, and others, in a number of exciting ways.”

Ms Thomson said the Go8 was particularly keen on working further with China as the Go8 was home to some 40,000 Chinese students in 2014, and the Go8 was working hard with the Federal Government through its New Colombo Plan to raise the number of Australian students (currently 3500) studying in China.

“Today’s Agreement will enhance bilateral student/staff exchange opportunities as well as strengthening Australia’s research collaboration with China,” she said. “It will also increase marketing and recruitment opportunities for Australian education providers in China.

“There is absolutely no doubt that the higher education sector is one of the winner from today’s announcement and the Go8 looks forward to the additional opportunities it affords us,” she said.


Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 438 047 155

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