Victorian China Program Wins Top Education Award

The ground-breaking Victorian Young Leaders to China Program has won a prestigious national award for excellence in international education.

Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated the students and staff involved in the program, which is at the heart of the Victoria-China education relationship.

The program is the single biggest investment by an Australian state or territory government in a program to send school students overseas. It will give our next generation a competitive advantage in engaging with our largest trading partner, China.

The International Education Association of Australia announced the award winners recently at its annual conference in Hobart, with the Victorian Young Leaders to China program taking out the Excellence Award for Best Practice in International Education.

The Victorian Young Leaders to China Program enables Victorian year nine students from government and non-government schools to travel to China to complete a six-week immersion program.

It gives students the chance to improve their Chinese language, develop their leadership skills, and gain global knowledge and intercultural understanding – key components of the Victorian Curriculum.

About 940 students and 115 teachers from some 70 Victorian schools have taken part in the initiative so far.

The latest group of 88 students and 12 teachers departed on Sunday; they will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing for six weeks.

The Victorian Young Leaders to China program contributes to the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State target of reducing the impact of disadvantage on student achievement, with more than half the participating students being from regional and rural areas and 25 per cent from low-income families.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“I am delighted that this program, and all it brings to our relationship with China, has been recognised with such a prestigious award.”

“It forms an important element of our China Strategy to foster strong partnerships between Victorian and Chinese schools and universities.”