About the Fellowship
That the teaching and learning of non-English languages in Australian universities is in crisis is widely recognised across the sector, including both by the Group of Eight and the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Of serious concern is the decline of Indonesian language programs. Between 2001 and 2004, Indonesian closed at four universities with enrolments declining 12% between 2001 and 2005.1 A 2008 Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) study confirms that numbers continue to fall with a drop of 23.8% from 2001 to 2007.2 This Fellowship is dedicated to the development of a national plan to reverse this trend, and ensure Australia's Indonesian language competence is sustained into the future.
In a consultative process, staff and students at all Indonesian-teaching universities in Australia – together with professional associations and relevant staff within departments of education – were involved in an analysis of the problems facing, and strategies viable for, the reinvigoration of Indonesian language learning. Following the circulation of a discussion paper, a national colloquium was held to bring together Indonesian language educators from around the country and from overseas to explore and evaluate proposals for the strengthening of Indonesian. Drawing upon this analysis, and on overseas experiences, the Fellow has developed a national strategy for the future of Indonesian in Australian universities for presentation to government and to the universities in the form of a policy paper.
1 P. White and R. B. Baldauf, Re-examining Australia’s Tertiary Language Programs, December 2006, pp.11 & 16
2 A. McLaren, Asian Languages Enrolments in Australian Higher Education, April 2008