Australian Embassy

Australia-Thailand Education Cooperation

Australian Government Department of Education

Internationally, the Department of Education provides policy leadership and coordination across all levels of government for education-related matters. In addition, the Department builds partnerships through engagement with key partner countries to advance Australia’s international education sector and position.

The Department focusses on pursuing key education, training and research opportunities that support and enhance the sustainable growth of our international education sector, contribute to Australia’s economic growth (including through meeting Australia’s skills needs), and ensures Australia remains recognised as a world leader in international education.

The Department fosters international partnerships, ensures quality, and enhances international students’ experiences through our National Office in Canberra and in 12 offices in Australian diplomatic missions in North Asia (Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul), South and South East Asia (New Delhi, Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur), America (Washington), Latin America (Brasilia and Mexico), and Europe (Paris).

Together, the Department engages with other government agencies, and with priority partner countries, to develop and deliver strategies and programs that:

  • reduce the regulatory barriers that Australian education and training providers face overseas  
  • foster deeper connections on policy and system alignment
  • open opportunities to innovative products and services
  • promote the exchange of knowledge and best practice, and
  • position Australia as a partner of choice for collaboration in international education, training, and research.

While the Department provides policy advice and leadership across all levels of government for education-related matters, Austrade manages the promotion and marketing of Australian education services in Thailand.

The Department of Education office in Bangkok was the first offshore office of the Department and was opened by then Australian Minister for Education in December 1994.

The key functions of the Department are:

International cooperation in education and training

  • Manage government–to–government education policy engagement
  • Bilateral cooperation including cooperation agreements and Joint Working Groups educational and training input to free trade agreement negotiations
  • Multilateral engagement by participating and engaging internationally in key multilateral fora
  • Support for academic and institutional policy engagement and exchange

International education quality and regulation

  • Manage the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and associated legislative framework and activities
  • Support the implementation of government policy in relation to the higher education, school, and vocational education and training sectors

International education research and information

  • Provide data, research, and analysis on international education in Australia and globally
  • Manage international student data and research
  • Provide information on host country education policy


  • Manage the Destination Australia scholarship program
  • Liaise and engage with foreign government agencies on inbound and outbound scholarship opportunities


  • Coordinate with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to assist the Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internship in the Asia Pacific region under the New Colombo Plan Initiative

Education Agents

  • Develop and provide information on regulatory requirements and Australian education issues to education agents
  • Monitor provider obligations under the ESOS Act
  • Engage with other governments concerning overseas education agents

Qualifications recognition

  • Manage international qualifications recognition including educational and professional recognition information services and support

In Thailand, the Department manages the Australia-Thailand education, training and research relationship and works with the Thai Ministry of Education and the Thai Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation on a range of current priority issues related to education and training policy and systems.

These include :

  • the recognition of qualifications
  • quality assurance
  • online higher education policy
  • professional development for academics
  • curriculum development and institutional governance arrangements including the development of a National Qualifications Framework, and
  • other policy issues across all levels of education.

The Department also works closely with Australian and Thai institutions to facilitate partnership collaboration and linkages, staff and student exchange, cooperation in research and development and university credit transfer arrangements.

In Thailand, the Department also manages the Australian Government’s engagement with the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) and the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of UNESCO.


Background to the Thailand - Australia Education Relationship

Cooperation in education, science, research and training is a central and significant aspect of the bilateral relationship between Australia and Thailand. The education

n relationship is mature and developed with a focus on policy dialogue, information sharing and partnerships rather than aid/development assistance.

The longstanding education and training relationship between Australia and Thailand, going back to the early days of the Colombo Plan scholarship program, was put onto a more formal basis initially in 1991, with the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries on education. That MOU was signed between the then Department of Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) and the then Thai Ministry of University Affairs and promoted and supported a program of information, staff and student exchanges, collaborative research and development, and institutional links including joint degree programs.

An MOU with the Thai Ministry of Education, signed in June 1994, substantially extended that cooperation to the schools and vocational education sectors and provided for cooperation in primary and secondary schooling, technical and para-professional training, non-formal education, professional development of educators and distance education.

A new MOU on cooperation in education and training was signed between the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and the Thai Ministry of Education in Canberra on 5 July 2004. That MOU replaced the two MOUs signed in 1991 and a 1994.

A new MOU was signed in 2012 to renew and reinforce the strong education and training linkages between Australia and Thailand. The new MOU encourages and facilitates cooperation between government, educational and training institutions.  

For more information about the Department of Education, please visit

For information about studying in Australia please visit:

For information about the promotion and marketing of Australian education services in Thailand, please contact Austrade in Bangkok on +66 (0)2 696 4800

The Department of Education office in Bangkok is open from Monday to Friday, 09.00-17.00 hours. To contact our staff, please telephone Bangkok +66 (0)2 344 6493, fax: 02 344 6303, or email [email protected] 


Australia Awards in Thailand

Australia Awards Scholarships are prestigious international awards offered by the Australian Government to the next generation of local, national and global leaders. Through study and research, recipients develop the skills and knowledge to drive change and build enduring people-to-people links with Australia.

In 2022, seven talented Thai individuals have been offered Australia Awards Scholarships to study in Australia, supported by the Mekong-Australia Partnership .  These future leaders will undertake masters studies at Australian universities in a range of disciplines such as financial economics, public policy and management, biological science, environmental laws.

The scholarships will enable these committed individuals to build careers that contribute to the development needs of their communities, organisations, nation, and region. 

Scholars will have the opportunity to build friendships with Australians and forge enduring personal and professional links in Australia.