Education Talking Points | 07/04/2017

In today’s talking points: Mining Innovation Project Inspires Chinese, Australian University Collaboration; First Virtual High School in NSW; Xinjiang to strengthen preschool bilingual education; Australia’s Delayed Recession Fallout Is Showing Up in Its Jobs Data.

Mining Innovation Project Inspires Chinese, Australian University Collaboration

A new collaboration to launch a mining and cooperation innovation research model has been set in the works by Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), University of Western Australia (UWA), the WA School of Mines at Curtin University, Central South University (CSU) in Changsha, and Sun Yat-San University in Guangzhou. This graduate program engages the brightest minds across Australian and China as the need for skilled technicians, instrumentation operators, computer science graduates, and electrical engineers is rising. FMG chief executive Nev Power is excited by the prospects stating that constant search for innovation and new ideas that drives our company culture. With new digital platforms and opportunities growing exponentially Australia and China need to communicate.

Read More at ABC

First Virtual High School in NSW

This is not science fiction, modern-day distance education has been taken to heights with technology advances confirms Aurora College Principle, Chris Robertson. Aurora is a selective school connecting some of the brightest students primarily in remote NSW and one of the first of its kind in Australia. Students sit competitive state wide testing to gain acceptance to the online education forum. Students have opportunities to search for books in the virtual library, making new friends on the virtual playground/ coffee lounge and receiving specialised lessons from leading academics around the globe. Aurora allows students to live in their local communities whilst being with like-minded students, meeting up twice a year to connect in Sydney. Students extend themselves by taking master classes with astrophysicist in Switzerland and learning from European human rights lawyers. Mr Roberson expects the school’s growth to exceed to 500 students within a five-year period.

Read More at The Sydney Morning Herald

Xinjiang to strengthen preschool bilingual education

China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will build more kindergartens and hire more bilingual teachers to improve its three-year bilingual pre-school education. A total of 4,387 bilingual kindergartens will be built or expanded in 2017 across the region. And 10,000 bilingual teachers will be hired this year, 6,500 more compared with previous years, the regional education department announced Thursday. The region will also provide more training courses for bilingual teachers and encourage more college graduates to work as bilingual teachers. From 2011 to 2015, Xinjiang built 2,500 new bilingual kindergartens in rural areas, bringing the region’s pre-school education penetration rate to 77 percent, or 480,000 pre-schoolers, according to official figures. With central government funds, Xinjiang plans to offer three years of bilingual pre-school education, instead of the current two, in the region’s rural areas during the 2016-2020 period.

Read more at Xinhua

Australia’s Delayed Recession Fallout Is Showing Up in Its Jobs Data

Australia deployed fiscal and policy stimulus to avoid economic contraction after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Inc.; and China’s massive stimulus program then sent commodity prices soaring, underpinning the economy’s roaring back Down Under. The upshot is that all that good work only delayed the effects of the recession rather than completely avoiding them. Problems in Australia’s labor market have become stark over the past year as full-time jobs fell, part-time roles picked up some of the slack and many people quit hunting for work. As a result, unemployment remains below 6 percent despite a labor market that in reality has a lot slacker than that figure suggests. Politically, the nation is almost on auto-pilot as governments of both persuasions seek to avoid alienating a population already resentful because of stagnant income growth after many years of expansion.

Read more at Bloomberg