Security Challenges
Volume 16, No.4 (2020)

Geoeconomics and the Australian university sector: A ‘geoeducation’ analysis

The logic of geoeconomics is that economic policy instruments are increasingly wielded as instruments of national power and perceived as vectors of national security vulnerability. This article analyses the shifting geoeconomic dynamics that are shaping interactions between Australia, China and the United States in the university sector. It describes how both Beijing and Washington have come to view higher education and research through a geoeconomic lens, providing context for a subsequent analysis of “geoeducation” dynamics from an Australian perspective. The university sector simultaneously poses growing concerns for national security, while remaining a major contributor to national prosperity. The article concludes by framing the policy challenges facing the Australian government in terms of the trade-offs required for risk mitigation strategies that seek to maximise the potential for reducing vulnerabilities while minimising the economic costs.

NOTE: This article has received grant funding support from the Department of Defence Strategic Policy Grants Program. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defence.

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