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Internationalisation of higher education in Australia, in the last five decades or so, has been viewed strategically by successive governments. Various reasons for and approaches to international education have been linked to shifting national policies and global trends. Although political and cultural reasons for becoming a key provider of international education continue to be central to the geopolitical re-positioning of Australia in the Asia-Pacific region, it is an economic rationale that has been driving strategic directions in tertiary education at the current stage of neoliberal reforms. Australian universities now constitute a highly profitable sector of the national economy, as well as making an essential contribution to the global education as the world's most significant destination for international students. They have become 'internationally recognised for their high quality teaching and research, and have a distinctly international character in both their student profile and outlook'. While the internationalisation of higher education generates significant income, it also calls for an increased accountability for quality education and responsiveness to international students and their needs. The economic rationale of internationalisation should be supplemented by other dimensions, such as social responsibility and development of intercultural understanding (Meiras, 2004).

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