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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1267 asked in the Legislative Council on 29 October 2019 by Hon Simon O’Brien

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on


1267. Hon SIMON O'BRIEN to the Minister for Education and Training:

I refer to the selective program for gifted Chinese students.

(1) Why is the McGowan Labor government giving special consideration to one ethnic group over others?

(2) How many Western Australian students will be displaced from elite schools by this new program?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the member for the question.

(1)–(2) I will answer the second part first. The additional positions are up to 15 per year at schools that have the capacity. This is on top of—and does not replace—gifted and talented programs for Western Australian students, so no Western Australian student will be displaced. If a school does not have capacity to take the students, the school will not take the students.

With respect to the first question, a range of policies are being developed for international students at public schools. I will preface my answer by saying this. We have taken fee-paying international students at Western Australian public schools, primary and secondary, since 1984—there is nothing new about that. In respect of this ''selective'' program, we have identified China as the key market. We have been approached by representatives from Chinese education agents, who have been seeking this. In addition, of course, we have really strong relationships with China. Indeed, it is our biggest trade partner and we are keen to extend the number of students who come from China to study in our universities. One way of doing that is to give them the experience of studying in Western Australia before they make a decision about which university they might go to. This is one way of doing that.