Universities Australia affirms the importance of pursuing structured understanding of the world's societies and religions through university research.
"Universities Australia believes that from such understanding a better prospect of progress in human affairs results," Universities Australia Chair, Professor Richard Larkins said today.
"The conduct of such research is part of the role of universities in contributing to Australia's economic and social prosperity. All academic programs in Australian universities, including the research programs in the area of Islamic Studies, are subject to independent audit, evaluation and quality assurance procedures," Professor Larkins said.
Universities Australia cautions that ill informed treatment of university research matters, as has been the case in some reporting of developments in Islamic and Middle-Eastern research in Australia, is in danger of diminishing rather than enhancing such understanding.
"Universities Australia, as the peak body for Australia's universities, calls on editors and others in the media to fulfil their own responsibilities with due balance and care in these areas, just as in other areas," Professor Larkins said.
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