Update | 2001-11-05 00:00:00

Universities will play a critical role in the developing and transition economies of the GMS. Increasing international trade, foreign investment and international cooperation mean that university students in the GMS will require qualifications that are internationally recognized, fully reflect the state of knowledge in each disciplinary area, and are relevant to the region. In addition, the universities of the GMS have the potential to make a major contribution to the debate about social and economic policy, and will be required to build the research capability among their staff to ensure that GMS governments can source the highest level of advice within the region.

Universities and other tertiary training providers in the GMS are responding to this challenge by enhancing the quality of their teaching programmes and the research capability of their staff. This means increasing the proportion of their staff who have internationally recognised qualifications and research experience and who are able to teach and administer programmes conforming to international standards. Many are also in need of support in developing English language teaching capability. Universities in New Zealand and Australia are well placed to assist GMS universities in the building of these capabilities.

Universities in Australia and New Zealand have challenges associated with building staff research and teaching capability on issues relating to the GMS region. Co-operation between universities in New Zealand, Australia and the GMS provides a vehicle by which the universities may build this capability and position themselves to provide intellectual leadership in the development of Australian and New Zealand policy relating to Asia.

GMSTEC's Role:
The potential range of activities for cooperation is wide. GMSTEC's role is to act as a facilitator of multi-institutional activities that align with the member universities' internationalisation needs. The core areas of cooperation will be developing joint degree courses at post-graduate and under-graduate level, training courses, research projects, English language courses and staff development programmes. GMSTEC will coordinate the broad range of expertise, diverse skills, knowledge, and resources of its members to deliver these projects and to facilitate the development of specific agreements relating to each project.

In particular, GMSTEC will:

  1. Coordinate member expertise to develop innovative degree programmes of international standing and relevance to the GMS that:

    • Enhance GMS student access to international quality education both in NZ, Australia and home institutions; and,
    • Enhance the quality of internationally-oriented programmes in NZ and Australia.
    • Facilitate the strengthening of GMS universities and tertiary education institutions.
  2. Stress the development of international, regional and cross-cultural linkages as an integral part of the learning and research process.
  3. Stress the importance of quality and the development of systems for assuring common quality standards on GMSTEC cooperative programmes.
  4. Seek to develop GMS, NZ and Australian examples and case studies based on practitioner knowledge and to incorporate these into degree and training course curricula.
  5. Act as a catalyst for research that is relevant to the region and which incorporates local practitioner knowledge and information sources.
  6. Provide the economies of scale required to undertake cost effective initiatives for staff development, programme development and the development of student learning support initiatives that facilitate access to international courses including English language programmes.

All members of GMSTEC aspire to be recognized for the academic quality, relevance and international orientation of their teaching and research activities. By raising the level of interaction and cooperation between member universities GMSTEC will enhance the regional and international reputations of its members. Co-operation within GMSTEC will facilitate the building of long-term strategic relationships and is expected to help promote the internationalisation of tertiary education throughout the GMS, Australia and New Zealand.


GMSTEC’s mission is: Universities from the Greater Mekong Sub-region, New Zealand and Australia committed to: • Sharing knowledge and building cultural understanding; • Advancing the quality and diversity of programmes offered at member institutions; • Expanding the learning and research opportunities available to staff and students in GMS, New Zealand and Australian universities; and • Mobilising academic and other resources to assist with development of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Our objectives are: • To develop and teach some common curricula and courses among consortium partners. • To develop common systems for quality assurance including processes for enrolment, teaching, assessment and certification of students to international standards. • To develop and teach new and innovative courses of relevance to the GMS. • To develop the teaching abilities and experience of the staff of GMSTEC universities. • To enhance the international content of member universities’ academic programmes. • To conduct, encourage, and facilitate research into issues of key importance to development of the GMS. • To promote cultural and academic exchange among member universities including staff and student exchanges and other programmes that enhance the cross-cultural and academic understanding. • To promote English language capability and English language teaching capability amongst member universities including the development of degree programmes taught in English as GMS universities. • To provide expertise and resources that will assist with development of the GMS.