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Friday, 1 May 1987
Page: 2204

(Question No. 1648)

Senator Morris asked the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 24 February 1987:

(1) Is the Minister for Education aware of reports that a Japanese group including the Kyoto Institute of Science and Technology has proposed that it will establish a technical college in Sydney as part of a proposed technology exchange centre.

(2) Has the Government been involved in any discussions on this proposal, has the expenditure of Commonwealth funds been considered and what effect will this proposal have on current Government programs for TAFE and other tertiary educational establishments.

Senator Ryan —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) I understand that the broad implications of the proposal have been the subject of some discussion with Commonwealth officers.

To proceed further the proposal would appear to require consideration by the Foreign Investment Review Board. Ultimately, however, it is a matter for decision and approval by the State government, as a proposal involving technical/vocational level training. The question of providing Commonwealth funds does not arise. The Commonwealth has previously announced that it will not support completely private institutions.

A matter of direct concern to the Commonwealth would be the issue of visa approvals for overseas student entrants to the Institute. Again, as no federal funds are involved, visa approvals can be negotiated if the State government decides to extend recognition to the institute and takes necessary action at the State level to confirm the status of the institute.

I do not expect the proposal to have any effect on Commonwealth government programs for TAFE or other tertiary education institutions.