Research on Australia’s educational assistance strategy to Southeast Asia and its effectiveness

Australia’s geographical location and cultural tradition are deeply connected with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN)’s future development. Australia uses educational assistance as a means to help Southeast Asian countries to improve basic education and vocational education level, promote the accumulation of human resources and development of social order in ASEAN countries, strengthen regions’ ability to respond to poverty and personal development, and finally achieve balanced development in the region. Education assistance not only effectively enhances Australia’s soft power in Southeast Asia and the strategic effect of “full integration into ASEAN”, it also provides regional public education products to Southeast Asian and achieves the development goals of a social and cultural community.

Australia’s strategic intentions of assistance for ASEAN 1. It is helpful to enhance the ability of ASEAN recipient countries to eradicate poverty, and improve their international competitiveness. Australia regards the Southeast region as a key area of assistance when formulating foreign aid policies. At the same time, private enterprise development and personal development are set as two foundation stones, working together to serve Australia’s foreign aid policies. 2. It is helpful to upgrade basic education and vocational education level of ASEAN recipient countries, and enhance the attractiveness of Australia’s education. The important reason for Australia to strengthen assistance to ASEAN countries is, through educational assistance to form dependence of ASEAN countries to Australia’s education, and enlarge educational services trades. 3. It is helpful to enhance Australia’s cultural influence in ASEAN countries and enhance its soft power. Although Australia’s educational assistance to ASEAN countries is shown as an feature of education in the form, it is never a purely educational assistance action, but also a soft diplomacy act. It is an extension of Australia’s national will in Southeast Asia, and reflects Australia’s national interest orientation in ASEAN countries.

Australia’s education supply of ASEAN countries and its influence 1. According to the educational development needs of recipient countries, formulate educational assistance measures that are suitable for national conditions and increase the enrollment rate of basic education. 2. Provide material public products through assistance to improve the quality of teachers and managers. 3. Provide service-related public products through assistance to promote the standardization and efficiency of educational operations. 4. Provide institutional public products through assistance to strengthen Australia’s soft power in ASEAN countries.

Although educational aid is an international public welfare undertaking, as a group or part of the diplomatic strategy of the aid country, it is inevitably related to the country and its interests. We analyzed relevant educational measures through Australia’s educational assistance to ASEAN International, and provided practical significance for other countries to learn from such measures.