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Development of strategic international industry links to promote undergraduate vocational training and postgraduate research programmes

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After centuries of protectionism in international trade, the course is inexorably set for trade amongst nations without borders. More and more countries are joining the World Trade Organization and companies are repositioning themselves for the conduct of their activities in an environment free from physical borders and national legislative restrictions. Commercial activity is as old as humanity itself and touches every aspect of human endeavour. The raison d'ĂȘtre for academic institutions, which provide skills training for the labour force of the community of nations, lies, to a large extent, in fulfilling the requirements of commercial activity. Any profound change in the manner in which commerce is conducted, logically, requires an equally profound change in the philosophy of developing the skills of the labour force. This paper therefore discusses the challenges which academic institutions face in restructuring their curricula to meet the demands of the globalized economy of the future. The paper describes the general principles necessary to develop the attributes of a globally employable graduate and reports, in particular, on activities already being undertaken by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), in association with industry partners within and outside Australia to meet these challenges. The prime mover of these activities is a programme called the RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Program (RIIERP), which was established in 1992 by the author.
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Keywords: Cultural environment; Global Industry Advisory Board; Global context; Global perspective; Globalization; Virtual research infrastructure; Work ethic

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Programme, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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