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Helping hand brings Japanese students to Australia

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Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans - Media Release

Helping hand brings Japanese students to Australia

13 Mar 2012

One year since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, students from three universities at the centre of the disaster have arrived in Australia to participate in study tours supported by a $500,000 Gillard Government grant.

The Prime Minister's Education Assistance Program for Japan, announced by the Prime Minister during a visit to Japan in April last year, is helping strengthen the educational ties between the two countries.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said the Program supported a two way exchange for Japanese researchers, academics and students to travel to Australia, and for their Australian counterparts to travel to Japan.

"The devastation we all saw on our television screens from Japan when the tsunami struck last year was unspeakable," Senator Evans said.

"The Gillard Government's immediate post-disaster assistance included a $10 million donation to the Japan Red Cross and Pacific Disaster Appeal, plus a 72-person urban search and rescue team and the use of Australian Defence Force C17 aircraft.

"In addition, we announced the Education Assistance Program to assist the recovery of Japan's education system, giving university students affected by the disaster the chance to visit Australia and further their learning.

"The strength of interest in the program and its success in attracting high quality student and research exchanges reinforces the successful partnership between Australian and Japanese institutions.

"We are committed to a strong education partnership with Japan and the benefits the international collaboration brings for our students, researchers and academics."

Fifteen students from MiyagiUniversity will engage in research activities, English language study and cultural exchange at RMIT while staying with Australian families.

Eleven Tohoku University students will further their maths, physics and English language studies at the University of Sydney while learning about Australia's scientific environment.

Eight student teachers from Miyagi University of Education will go to CentralQueenslandUniversity to further their studies in teaching, visit local primary and high schools and study English while staying with Australian families.

The program is also supporting joint-research activities between Australian and Japanese universities in a wide range of areas including chemical, medical and biological research, nuclear science and teacher development.