Indonesian knowledge is dying – just when we need it most
Hill, D.T. (2012) Indonesian knowledge is dying – just when we need it most. The Conversation, 2 March .
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A detailed report launched in Parliament House within hours of the ALP leadership ballot last Monday revealed that, whoever is Prime Minister, the Australian government needs to act decisively and urgently to rebuild our Indonesian skills. Such language skills are essential if we are to maximise our engagement with the burgeoning economies and nations of Asia.
The report, Indonesian language in Australian Universities: Strategies for a stronger future), found university Indonesian enrolments plunging 40% nationally between 2001 and 2010. The most dramatic decline of 71% was in New South Wales. Six universities closed their Indonesian programs between 2004 and 2009.
Although there are about 190,000 students studying Indonesian in schools, they are clustered at the lower levels. At Year 12 level, there were fewer students studying Indonesian in Australia in 2009 than there were in 1972.
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