The Hon Steve Herbert MP - travel report - Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia, May 2016

Minister The Hon. Steve Herbert, MLC
Portfolio Minister for International Education
Countries visited Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia
Date of travel 11 – 20 May 2016
No. of official travel days 10
Number of accompanying ministerial staff 1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity No
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by (list department/s or agency) Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Air fares $10,804.06*
Accommodation $5,927.38*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $4,177.25*
Travel cost for minister and staff $20,908.69*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

The purpose of my travel to Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia was to build government to government relations and promote the capacity of Victoria's education sector. This trip provided the opportunity to meet with a number of key stakeholders in the South East Asian education sector and in doing so I was able to profile Victoria's research, education and training offerings and identify opportunities for cooperation and partnerships across the region.

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria

International Education has been Victoria's largest export services industry for over ten years, generating over $5 billion per annum in exports and providing 30,000 jobs. This trip enabled extensive relationship building and information sharing with 20 meetings and functions arranged with senior Government officials, education agencies and training institutions across the three countries. In Vietnam and Indonesia, in particular, Ministerial level meetings provided an opportunity to better understand senior level government views of the Victorian education system and future government investment priorities, which may present opportunities for Victorian providers. The mission was particularly important in highlighting the major quality and industry related reforms occurring in Victoria and countering negative publicity about the impact of VET FEE Help on quality.


Indonesia is identified as a priority market in the Future Industries International Education Sector Strategy. By 2024, Indonesia is forecast to be the third highest contributor globally of international students behind India and China. However, Indonesia currently accounts for only 2.5 per cent of Victoria's international student numbers demonstrating that there is scope for improvement. Similarly, the Indonesian Government is focusing on improving vocational competencies to increase productivity and competitiveness, presenting opportunities for growth in offshore delivery from Victoria's VET sector, including through partnership arrangements.

In Indonesia:

  • A joint meeting with the Vice Minister for Finance and Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidkan (LPDP) (Indonesia's largest scholarship organisation) provided information on LPDP's priorities for scholarships, which will assist us to position relevant Victorian institutions as providers of choice. An invitation to visit will be extended to the Vice Minister and the LPDP to showcase Victoria's competitive strengths. This visit will form part of my Department's market development work for Indonesia in 2016/17.
  • I witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) Jakarta and the Institute of Railway Technology (IRT), Monash University which will see Monash provide technical assistance and professional advice in railway engineering.
  • I met with the ASEAN Secretariat to discuss William Angliss Institutes role in supporting the development of the Mutual Recognition Framework for tourism professionals.


Vietnam is Victoria's third largest source market for international students and Victoria has 44.5 per cent of the national market. Victorian providers are keen to build on these links to secure offshore arrangements with the Vietnamese government and institutions. Because of our early involvement in international education in Vietnam, Victoria is in a strong position to build on the Vietnamese Government's proposed investment in VET reform, and skills and training programs. However, a stronger and renewed effort at government-level is required as there has been a recent influx of strong competition from other states and countries.

In Vietnam:

  • I met with the Vice Chancellor of RMIT at RMIT's Ho Chi Minh City campus and officially opened RMIT's Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE). RMIT's unique position in Vietnam not only supports Victoria's onshore student recruitment objectives through strong demonstration of the value of a Victorian education, it also supports mobility objectives with students from Australia, Europe and elsewhere in the SEA region enrolled at the institution.
  • I met with representatives of the Vietnam International Education Development office from the Ministry of Education and Training to discuss Vietnam's scholarship programs and opportunities for Victorian providers.
  • I met with senior government officials from the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to discuss its partnership with Chisholm Institute and other partnership and train-the-trainer opportunities for Victorian providers.
  • I witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Swinburne University and International University HCMC, which will facilitate research collaboration between researchers and joint supervision of PhD students in areas of Biotechnology and Business.


In Malaysia:

  • I delivered the welcome address at the first Victoria South-East Asian Higher Education Forum. The Forum was attended from senior government and institutional representatives from across the region and all eight Victorian universities. Post-forum feedback indicated that there was great value in the Forum and that future events should focus on specific themes such as employability or mobility.
  • I witnessed of the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding, including: between Swinburne University and the University of Malaya and RMIT University and UCSI University, which will bring together researchers at these universities to collaborate on joint research and between Swinburne and ICAN College in Malaysia which will see graduates further their study in Victoria.

Commonwealth interaction

In each location, I met with representatives from the relevant Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The focus of these discussions was alignment between Victoria's International Education Sector Strategy and the Commonwealth's International Education Strategy and AUSTRADE's market development plan.

Next steps / Follow up


  • Invitation to the LPDP Ministry of Finance to visit (purpose: scholarship arrangements and information sharing on Victoria's Higher Education and VET system design).
  • Invitation to the ASEAN Secretariat (purpose: share information on VET reform and partnership opportunities).


  • Invitation to the VIED and Minister for Education to visit (purpose: establish relationships between providers and Vietnams National Scholarship programs; consideration of an MoU; and, share lessons learned on developing education hubs and connecting universities, researchers and industries).
  • Invitation to the Minister of MOLISA and Director General, General Department Vocational Training (purpose: meet with Victorian University and TAFE representatives and campus visits, share lessons learned on delivery of skills training).

Page last updated: 26 October 2016