Education Talking Points | 29/03/2017

In today’s talking points: China holds Belt and Road music festival; Statistics released on the impact of international students on the job sector; One percent of Aussie pre-schoolers receiving top quality education; 11% growth in numbers of foreign students coming to study in China

China holds Belt and Road music festival

A three-week international music festival opened in south China’s Shenzhen City on Saturday. More than 700 musicians of 12 art-troupes from nearly 30 countries and regions will stage 16 concerts at the first Shenzhen Belt and Road International Music Festival, which runs through to April 16, according to event organizers. The festival, co-hosted by the government of Shenzhen and Chinese Musicians’ Association, aims to showcase the music of the countries along the Belt and Road and to strengthen the friendship of the people. More than 1,500 people attended Saturday’s opening. The performances ranged from suona solo “A Hundred Birds Worshipping the Phoenix”, to aria “Habanera” from Bizet’s opera “Carmen”, to the choral finale of Beethoven’s “Symphony No.9”. The government subsidized ticket prices to enable more people to attend.

Read more at Xinhua

Statistics released on the impact of international students on the job sector

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed new insights on the impact of international students on the Australian job market. Approximately 400,000 students depend on hospitality as their main source of income. In the 2011 Census, a third of foreign students reported they had a job. 15% worked in the hospitality sector, 11% in the cleaning sector, 10% were in sales while another 8% were involved in food preparation. Immigration law lecturer at the University of Adelaide, Dr. Joanna Howe expressed that a better understanding of their impact on the labour market is needed. Education is Australia’s third largest export and this growing industry is worth around AU$20 billion a year.

Read more at SBS

One percent of Aussie pre-schoolers receiving top quality education

Recently a research, published by The University of Melbourne on Wednesday, found that only one percent of Australian children are receiving quality education in the pre-school system and while children were well cared for emotionally they were missing out on play-based learning which is vital to development. Researchers from the Effective Early Education Experiences for Kids project tracked 2,500 three and four year olds from Victoria and Queensland over five years. The landmark study found that low quality teaching aimed at turning play into learning was present at 87 percent of pre-school services while just one percent had high-quality learning. Only eight percent of centers were found to have high-quality care and hygiene while six percent had high-quality activities. Results of the study suggested that even educators at the tertiary level were spending more time focusing on behavior than important higher-order thinking.

Read more at Xinhua

11% growth in numbers of foreign students coming to study in China         

The Ministry of Education have recently released statistics on international student numbers. Approximately 442,773 international students came to study in China last year and this number continues to rise. This aligns with China’s national goal of reaching half a million students by 2020. In 2015, figures had risen by 11.4% and by 35% since 2012. Students are flocking from over 200 countries, mainly from Asia which comprised 60%, following 15% from Europe and 11% from Africa. Xu Tao, the director of the Ministry’s Department of International Cooperation and Exchange, commented on the policies of the Chinese government which have driven increasing numbers of inbound students. He stressed that the Belt and Road Initiative was key, putting particular emphasis on the Chinese  Government Scholarship which facilitates 10,000 places. The government’s five year plan sets improving international education provision as a high priority and encourages building connections with foreign universities and education institutions.

Read more at the Pie News