On March 17 and 18, ASEAN will be holding talks with representatives of the Australian government. The talks are a chance for Australia and its Southeast Asian neighbors — above all, Indonesia — to re-imagine their relationships in a range of fields.
Without a doubt, in this Trump era atmosphere and its threat of tariff wars, trade is the most likely focus. But such talks also offer the opportunity to consider other issues, including the key areas of education.
There are reasons to be concerned about this particular relationship. On the Australian end, relatively high numbers of undergraduate students and postgraduate (mainly scholarship) students continue to study at Australian universities. But, unlike 20 years ago, they are concentrated to a limited number of large inner-city institutions in major metropolitan areas.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.