Facing Asia: A History of the Colombo Plan

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With the immediate turmoil of World War II over, communism and decolonisation had ended any possibility that Asia could continue to be ignored by Australia.

A History of the Colombo Plan

In the early s, Australia embarked on its most ambitious attempt to engage with Asia: the Colombo Plan. Above all this is the question of how Australia sought to project itself into the region, and how Asia was introduced into the Australian consciousness. While the success of the scheme has not yet been assessed, the coalition could learn from its vision and commendable approach. Higher educational institutions should do more to assist in the educational and social integration of Asian students, if only because we take their money and educational integration ought to be part of the package.

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Indeed, many Australian educators are presently working on this. But educational institutions are largely failing to capitalise on the resources already in their classrooms.

Colombo Plan

The Abbott government has produced an exciting agenda for engagement in the region. Getting domestic students to talk to the international students sitting on the other side of the classroom, though, could be a half way decent alternative.

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They might all appreciate it. By taking a retro-view of the original plan, the drivers of the New Colombo plan have an opportunity to re-figure the Asian students who feature so prominently in our universities as cultural, educational and even regional assets for Australia. Simultaneously, we can offer them more positive engagement with Australia.


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For Australian students who are not — as well as those who are - Asia-bound, in 21st century Australia, engagement with Asia can surely begin at home. Screen music and the question of originality - Miguel Mera — London, Islington. UEA Inaugural lecture: Alternative performance measures: do managers disclose them to inform us, or to mislead us? As of February , "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot.

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