AUSTRALIA: Database bites the dust

A unique database for research on international education that began in 2003 and attracted thousands of visits from researchers around the world, has ceased being updated after federal government funding stopped last month. Although it will remain online, it seems unlikely to survive.

The database had been produced for Australian Education International, a division of the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training, by the Australian Council for Educational Research’s library.

It contains details of 7,030 books, articles, conference papers and reports on various aspects of international education from publishers in Australia and overseas from 1990 onwards – a period of major change in education systems around the world and in the trade in educational services.

Material in the database was drawn from the Australian Education Index which is produced by the library. Additional content came from a variety of international organisations and publishers.

Overall, the database covers a wide range of topics, including international education, internationalisation, trans-national education, export education, international students, educational marketing, student recruitment, study abroad and offshore programmes.

The library welcomed submissions for inclusion in the database, telling prospective donors they were bringing it to the attention of an international audience with an interest in international education. As well as indexing material, the library also included links to the websites of relevant organisations.

The database attracted some 500 visits from Australian-based users each month and a monthly average of around 2,000 visits in total worldwide. Despite its usefulness to local and overseas researchers the federal department money ran out.

“The December 2007 update of the database was the last update in the absence of renewed or alternative funding,” an ACER spokesman said.

The database will remain online for the time being, without further updates, at: