among local stakeholders. Louise Nicol, director of Asia
Careers Group, works closely with the British High Commis-sion
in Malaysia, who actively promote UK education in the
region with campaigns such as Education is GREAT.
“The Education is GREAT campaign, led here by the
Malaysian British High Commission, is excellent . They’re
very proactive, investing significant time and resources in
promoting UK education,” she explains.
“Most UK universities that come to Malaysia will engage
in some way with the British High Commission. Those with
branches here in Malaysia have regular meetings at the
High Commission, who are actively involved in supporting
them. For example, they help them with course accredita-tion
and Malaysian government engagement. They also
support Early Years Education, English Language Educa-tion,
British International Schools and TVET.”
Recruiting teachers for projects abroad is not an uncom-mon
pursuit of embassies too, even if in alliance with
another organisation. The Confucius Institute is known for
providing Chinese teachers in schools and other institutes
in the countries where they operate.
“As of July 2019, there were 537 Confucius Institutes and
1,130 Confucius Classrooms established in 157 countries
and regions around the world,” a representative of the
Hanban, the Chinese government agency responsible for the
Confucius Institutes, told The PIE via email.
“Over the past ten years, we have trained a number of lo-cal
Chinese teachers and talents for more than 160 countri-es,
helping to promote the development of Chinese teaching
and cultural exchange. By the end of 2018, there were
46,000 full and part time Mandarin teachers worldwide.”
86 | THE PIE REVIEW | ISSUE #24
Scientific cooperation a priority
Beyond facilitating teacher exports, research and scientific
exchange is moving up the agenda. “Next to international
cultural exchanges, scientific cooperation is becoming ever
more important in international affairs,” Johannes Strasser
of the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs confirms.
“There were 537
in 157 countries
The mobility of academics and the use of embassies
as conduits for academic exchange is coming more to the
fore as institutions strive for greater internationalisation.
“Exchanges and partnerships of culture and science,
of knowledge and expertise, work in our experience as
a two-way process with mutual benefits by adding value
to knowledge and building scientific strength on the one
hand and by fostering sound international relations on
the other,” Strasser adds. The Foreign Ministry fosters
intensive cooperation with academic experts, universities
and scientific institutions, he explains.
The road to the greater internationalisation of aca-demic
research is not an easy one, particularly when it
comes to high-priority and sensitive areas of study.
Often though, academic cooperation can transcend
international tensions or political upheavals. Despite the
never-ending soap opera that is Brexit, other EU nations
are still keen to cooperate with Britain in education.
“The Embassy’s Higher Education, Research and Inno-vation
Department has partnerships with a number of
institutions to fund bilateral research meetings, it facilita-tes
contacts between French and UK universities to form
partnerships, and it funds learned societies which work on
French history and literature,” says Bonal.
“It also organises events in all fields of academia,
curating programs to highlight the work of French acade-mics
and make it easier for them to come to the UK for
conferences and meetings with British colleagues.”
UK-based Embassy Magazine
gives out annual awards for the
top education attaché