Thursday, February 07, 2013

Costello Response: Why Study Abroad?

Rhondine P.

Costello response:  In the first case, necessity; I am a Canadian with an entire career working abroad. As Australian universities graduate nearly ten times the number of researchers as Canada does each year the opportunities for further education in Canada are ten times narrower; a ten fold concentration of competitiveness that seems an unnecessary bottleneck. As a result, I recognize the contributions that Australian institutions have made in assisting the economic growth of many of Asia's tiger economies. Australia didn't just make money educating its international students, it helped them form increasingly competitive Asian economies.

Second, international education has become Australia's second largest export product not only because of access but in growth of opportunity to learn and apply the inter cultural relationships of forty years of successful development work in Asia which attests to the quality and relationship building nature of its programs. 

I challenge my country Canada and its academic and research community to acknowledge, recognize and grow their contribution to the world based on that fact. 

Canada's future GDP depends on a speedier strategy to engage the world. Where many Canadian institutions can claim less than 2% international student enrollments, many Australian schools carry 30% international students already.

The dialogue, exchange and relevancy of an education abroad only deepens in the research domain where finding cases that really work for economic development exist around the world and rely upon those with no fear in attempting to repatriate fresh ideas to those too busy playing monocultural power based politics. 

Canada is taking a rather long time in applying rational principles to engaging the international world. 

However, I patiently wait for the day a Canadian hiring manager is able to penetrate the scope and scale of my contribution and call me for an interview to my first full-time job in Canada. Who says teachers don't have business experience when they've only ever worked in profit earning instituitions? Who needs government or endowments if you match good teachers with motivated learners?

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