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NSW, Australia discuss collaboration in education to address skill shortages at Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai: Experts and high-ranking officials from across Australia and the UAE gathered on Wednesday in Australia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss how collaboration, innovation and education can help address critical skill shortages forecast for the coming generation.

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), home to the city of Sydney, showcased its world-class higher education, vocational training and research sector, in a bid to attract more students and research collaboration into NSW at a VIP dinner event held at the Australia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The event was led by Her Excellency Heidi Venamore PSM, Australian Ambassador to the UAE; Mr Moin Anwar, NSW Trade and Investment Commissioner to the UAE and Mr Toshi Kawaguchi, Director for Study NSW and highlighted NSW’s prominent capabilities in education and innovation as well as why NSW and Sydney are the prime destination for the international student experience.

“NSW is proud of its multicultural heritage, safety record and being one of the most liveable places on Earth. But above all, NSW is home to hundreds of world-class education providers and research institutions,” Mr Kawaguchi said. “Six of NSW’s 12 universities rank in the World’s Top 200 and we are home to Australia’s largest vocational education and English language training sectors.”

The sentiment was echoed by Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (ADVETI), His Excellency Dr Abdulrahman Al Hammadi. “We have had a long-standing relationship with TAFE NSW, the leading government provider of vocational training in Australia, and look forward to further strengthening collaboration.” ADVETI was established in 2007 in partnership with Abu Dhabi Education Council and TAFE NSW.

The event was attended by government and high-ranking officials from the education sector across Australia and the UAE including Mr Justin McGowan, Australian Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai, His Excellency Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, HE Mohammed Al Saadi, CEO of Corporate Strategic Affairs at Dubai Economy and Tourism, Ms Kelly Matthews, Austrade Trade Commissioner for Education for Middle East and Africa and Professor Caroline Chan, Pro-Vice Chancellor – Global Partnerships for University of Newcastle.

The event also saw two panel sessions, the first discussing the future of international education and the ways to collaborate and innovate together to address critical skills shortage seen in the sectors of the future such as tech and cybersecurity. The second panel invited distinguished NSW alumni established in the UAE, to hear about how their experience in NSW shaped their lives.

Her Excellency Heidi Venamore further emphasised the importance of alumni as the key to attracting more talent into Australia. “Tonight’s event is an example of how we showcase the strengths of Australia’s exceptional education providers, as well as our distinguished alumni,” she said. “Part of that story is about the lifelong impact to their professional future.”

Along with attracting international students, NSW is increasingly committed to increasing research collaborations and education investment from the Middle East.

“NSW is investing significantly in innovation precincts, such as Tech Central and Westmead Heath Districts, that link education and research to advanced industries and emerging tech ecosystems. This is appealing to so many students around the world who are keen to develop their skills and leave their mark on the world,” Mr Kawaguchi said.

“Through such initiatives, we directly helping to address the critical skills shortages across the planet.” 

The NSW economy is larger than Hong Kong and Singapore and is set to reach a trillion dollars by the end of the decade. It is also home to the national headquarters to some of the world’s most successful businesses, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Atlassian.

His Excellency Fahad Al Gergawi cited similarities between Dubai and Sydney and their quest for quality and innovation. He stressed that education is the key to achieving excellence. “Education will always be the backbone of every development that we do,” he said.

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