Times Higher Education World Academic Summit: Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham keynote address

Higher education Education Globalisation Australia China Japan Korea (South)

Keynote address at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit Senator by the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training.

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham Minister for Education and Training



The wonderfully witty and wily Mark Twain once remarked that education is “the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.” Based on Mr Twain’s observation, with such an esteemed, learned and well educated audience gathered here in this one location you may very well represent the collective pinnacle of miserable uncertainty! Nonetheless, it is a pleasure to be with you this morning and I am confident that your important discussions on the future of higher education will be far more uplifting than miserable and, hopefully, much more decisive than uncertain.

I particularly acknowledge our hosts: Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne; Mr Rob Grimshaw, CEO, TES Global; and Phil Baty, editor at large of Times Higher Education magazine and editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

I congratulate the Times Higher Education (THE) on once again bringing this biannual event to the dynamic Asia Pacific region, building on the success of Singapore in 2013 by coming to magnificent Melbourne for a World Academic Summit exquisitely timed on the eve of Australia’s most sacred, near-religious festival, the Aussie Rules Grand Final. I trust some of our visitors will stay to enjoy the sporting and cultural festivities.

The World Academic Summit brings together an impressive group of leading thinkers to discuss global issues in higher education. Higher education is, quite naturally, a global enterprise, and it is inspiring to see this reflected in those taking part in this conference. I particularly welcome all of your excellent international speakers and distinguished foreign participants to Australia.

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