Australia announces additional Asian Century funding

SYDNEY, May 15 — Australian universities will receive an additional 83.7 million U.S. dollars over four years to enhance students’ opportunities to study an Asian language, the federal government announced Tuesday.
The project is one of a number of Asian Century initiatives provided for in the 2013 Budget, and will facilitate more Commonwealth-supported places for students to study towards a Diploma of Languages alongside their degree.
The initiative is part of the Australian government’s commitment to increase Asia-relevant skills in the workforce in preparation for the Asian Century, as set out in the 2012 White Paper.
To boost the tourism industry in China, the government will also fund Australia Week, a 1.73 million U.S. dollar promotion planned for the second half of 2014 — similar to Australia’s annual G’ day USA celebrations in the United States.
A Bill is also currently before Parliament that will increase the amount of money available for students to borrow from the government if they choose to study in Asia.
“Thousands more will have access to more generous and flexible student loans to assist with the costs of their overseas study. There will also be a new 1,000-Australian-dollar loan so students can study an Asian language to help them to prepare for their experience,” said Dr Craig Emerson, Minister for Tertiary Education.
Through the AsiaBound program, more than 10,000 students will also have access to grants enabling them to take up study in Asia, Emerson said.
In the business world, successful bids for the Asian Century Business Engagement Plan, designed to support projects that assist Australian companies in selling to Asia’s growing middle class and to participate in regional value chains, are also soon to be announced.[db:内容2]

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