Australia’s Asia Education Imperative

From 2019 to 2023, Melissa Crouch and Edward Aspinall (ANU) are co-leading a major educational review of trends in Asian Studies in Australia, in partnership with the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA). Roughly every twenty years, a review of teaching and research in Asian Studies is undertaken. 

The report is available for download here.

For about half a century, Australia has been a global leader in the study of Asia. The ASAA is the peak academic association for the study of Asia in Australia. The report is the fifth in a series of reports since the 1970s. The report focuses on trends in the promotion of Asia literacy in Australian universities from 2000 to 2022, highlighting both achievements and challenges. 

The report identifies a decline in government, and in many cases, university support, pointing to growing challenges in Australia’s efforts to promote Asia literacy among Australian graduates at a time when Asia’s global prominence and influence is more obvious than ever. The report proposes a set of recommendations to the government and to universities in order to renew and strengthen national commitment to Asia literacy.

The report was preceded by a series of events. In November 2019, Ed and Melissa co-hosted a workshop on ‘The State of Asian Studies in Australia’ with 15 leading scholars of Asian Studies from across the disciplines. In 2020, these papers were published as part of a blog series on the ASAA blog.

As part of this project, we have also contributed to public debate on the decline in Asian languages in Australia. See here for more.