Sunday, March 25, 2018

Senate Inquiry into UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has invited submissions to an Inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (closing 29 March 2018). Here are some thoughts on how the Australian education system can help our region.

Australia can use digital networks to engage, educate and influence sustainable development in the region. This can help with SDG Goal 17: "Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing ...".

Apart from the original Colombo Plan, where Australia funded students from developing nations to study in Australia, there has been the Virtual Colombo Plan (2001) to provide $230M to support of distance education programs in developing countries. The most notable scheme funded under the virtual plan was the African Virtual University. More recently, in 2015, the Australian Academic Research Network (AARnet) proposed a fibre-optic link to the region's educational institutions to Australia in a Digital Colombo Plan. However such plans have been ah-hoc and lacking in a clear benefit to Australia.

Some areas for Australia:
Australian university academics currently lack the skills needed to produce quality on-line courses. This will require academics to obtain formal teaching qualifications.

1 comment:

  1. The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee accepted my submission on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) remarkably quickly. This has been released as Submission 23 "Education for Sustainable Development", Tom Worthington, 28 March 2018: