2017 Australian International Education Conference in Hobart focuses on diversity

Tasmania is playing host to the 2017 Australian International Education Conference, bringing more than 1300 international experts, researchers, policy makers and educators to Hobart.

The conference, which began on Tuesday, considers in-depth the challenges facing the education sector, and seeks to lead the national and international discussion on the education sector.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham is in attendance along with American leader Dr Helen Turnbull, chief executive of Human Facets.

Dr Turnbull’s experience and research particularly focuses on inclusiveness and diversity.

The conference is hosted by IDP Education and the International Education Association of Australia.

IDP Education chief executive Andrew Barkla said the key conference topic of ‘embracing diversity’ was already part of the international education sector.

“We are fortunate to be part of a sector that supports our next generation of leaders and thinkers achieve their global study aspirations,” he said.

“While the world continues to experience socio-political changes, AIEC provides the international education sector the opportunity to explore the different ways we can continue to embrace diversity.

“The conference is also our opportunity to learn how we can apply innovative practices from other sectors for the benefit of our students.”

On Wednesday discussion topics included the education sector’s response to the rise of nationalism on the international stage, with a discussion that included experts from China, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia and Japan.

Case studies on student wellbeing were also highlighted with a focus on reports from Tasmania and New Zealand.

With the critical question being around generating and maintaining diversity, many sessions also considered the affordability, openness and responsibility of the education sector to support and welcome students.

The conference concludes on Friday.