KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - More students from Down Under will come to Malaysia for working stints at Australian companies based here under focus internship programmes.
This is part of a new approach undertaken by the Australian government to expose their students to different working environments.
Apart from short-term internships, Australian students are also encouraged to come in groups under edu-tourism programmes during their semester breaks.
According to Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, the programme also enables Malaysian students to seek internship with Australian companies.
'The Australian students are welcome and we would like them to mix with Malaysian students as this will lead to mutual character development,' he said after delivering his keynote address at the Australia Malaysia Forum on Quality and Excellence in Higher Education here.
The Australian High Commissioner, Penny Williams, said her government was interested in giving more young Australians the experience of working and studying in Malaysia.
'Many Malaysians are studying in Australia and sending our students for internship here is one way to strike a balance,' she said. 'The students will get to experience Malaysia and this strengthens the bilateral relationship between the two nations.'
She added that Malaysian universities had areas of expertise which were ideal for Australian students, such as the tropical environment programme at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
A memorandum of cooperation was also signed at the event by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency and the Australian Universities Quality Agency.
Under the memorandum, both parties will promote understanding of their quality systems, increase collaboration in relation to quality assurance, exchange personnel for professional development opportunities and share best practices employed by institutions which they have accreditation with.