Australia’s five most powerful education leaders in 2021

AFR Magazine’s annual Power issue, out on Friday, October 1, includes lists of the key players across six industry sectors. Here the people topping teaching in a profound year for the sector.

Remote learning has been gathering momentum for decades, but it was the initial shock of the pandemic that made it mainstream. Although the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector has been profound, the movement, en masse, to online learning across schools, colleges and universities might be its most enduring legacy.

Alongside the pivot in teaching, the most painful shock for universities has been the almost overnight halt in the flow of international students who contributed $40 billion to the economy in 2019. Universities have been accused of becoming addicted to these rivers of gold, using the money to prop up investments in research and new buildings.

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