Walkabout Poms raise Oz profile in academy

June 4, 2004

Backpackers' growing interest in the Outback is fuelling an expansion of Australian studies in the UK, writes Paul Hill.

The Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, based at King's College London, is planning to offer masters courses in the country's history, politics, art and cinema from 2005.

Carl Bridge, head of the centre, said the growing familiarity with Australia among British students was creating a "surge of interest".

He said: "Young people are enormously mobile and globally attuned. There is now a fair chunk of them in Britain with a fresh interest in Australia, and in search of fresh perspectives.

"Research by the Australian Tourist Commission showed that one in four backpackers who visited the country in 2003 was a young Briton."

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