Western Australian universities are leading the way in their approach to increasing the state’s education sector profile within the Indo-Pacific region through consortium engagement. Taking a proactive and collaborative approach to the challenges in attracting international students to WA, the five WA universities have committed to pooling resources and combined messaging to increase the profile of the state and each of their institutions. With support from the WA Government, a sister-state consortium is now actively operating between WA and 10 universities in East Java, also supported by the local East Java Government. The Western Australia East Java Consortium provides opportunities for research collaboration, student and staff mobility and alumni engagement. People-to-people linkages initiated through staff and student mobility support long-lasting professional and cultural relationships. This sister-state consortium initiative could be adopted by other states looking to develop their own education sectors and could be replicated in other jurisdictions going forward.
Consortium arrangements are about collaboration, not competition. The Western Australian universities intend to demonstrate the success they have had by working together for the benefit of the whole state. In addition, they will look at the work involved in providing, costing and delivering a program with academic rigour in WA and with East Java partner universities. Attendees can expect to hear about ways in which this kind of collaboration can be successful.