The recently released White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century reflected a consensus that higher education is at the cutting edge of our Asian engagement. To this end the White Paper prescribes an important role for public universities in the unfolding Asian Century. It suggests that universities – like other public and private institutions – should deepen our engagement with Asia.
But what does this deep internationalisation mean for our public research universities? The argument in this Policy Brief is that varied forms of internationalisation will have different forms of balance between private and public purposes and benefits pursued by our research universities. Internationalisation or the ‘deep internationalisation’ proposed by the White Paper challenges us to consider the public purposes and benefits beyond the box of ‘national state’, and yet achieve this without letting the market model dominate the ‘public’ enterprise of the research university. As Simon Marginson (2012) – an astute observer of higher education – has maintained: how do we redefine the ‘public’ as universities operate on global and regional scales?