from the Chair and the Chief Executive

Barney Glover 150x255.jpg BelindaRobinson150x225.jpg








Welcome to our second HIGHER ED.ITION for 2017.

This quarterly publication comes at a particularly pivotal time for higher education.

Two weeks ago, the details of the Turnbull Government’s Budget proposals for the sector were unveiled by Education Minister Simon Birmingham. 

There is much to analyse about the impact of those measures. 

Universities have been working through the detail to assess how their students, staff, universities, research and community engagement would be affected by the package.   

We will continue to engage with policy makers in coming weeks and months to ensure decision-making is well informed.

Ahead of the Budget, Universities Australia released analysis highlighting the significant contribution that universities and students have already made to Budget repair since 2011.

This was an important context setter ahead of the announcement of proposals for a further $2.8 billion in cuts to higher education.

That’s not to say the package is all negative. Universities Australia was pleased to see it included a number of priorities for which we have long advocated – particularly the expansion of the demand-driven system to sub-Bachelor places and legislative protection for the flagship equity program HEPPP.

In this HIGHER ED.ITION, we include further analysis beyond our statements over the past few weeks. This looks at the Budget through the prism of universities equipping the nation to grapple with the dramatic economic transformation now underway.

University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen adds depth to that picture with a piece on how universities can reinvigorate regional economies

And UTS Chancellor Catherine Livingstone contributes a thoughtful piece on how universities forge the people-to-people connections that are the bedrock of innovation.

The University of Queensland’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Hoj writes that telling our success stories about great university-industry collaboration can help to generate more of them.

And, two months after the sector launched its first Indigenous strategy, Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker sees it as another important step as universities deepen the nation’s understanding of our history, tradition and identity.

As the UA baton passes to a new Chair, we include reflections on the past two years from outgoing Chair Professor Barney Glover and the priorities of incoming Chair Professor Margaret Gardner.

And we share with those of you who weren’t able to join us just some of the many highlights from this year’s hugely successful Universities Australia higher education conference

These include the brilliant keynote address by former US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich on the role of universities in an era of global political upheaval. And a deeply moving rendition of Archie Roach’s ‘Took The Children Away’ by young Ngiyampaa man Sebastian Kelly-Toiava at the launch of the Indigenous strategy.

Until next time,

Professor Barney Glover and Belinda Robinson
Chair and Chief Executive
Universities Australia


june // 2015



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Universities in a Next Gen World – UA Higher Education Conference wrap-up
The Universities Australia Higher Education Conference was held in March with a record turnout of almost 1000 delegates.
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Equipping Australia to manage economic transition: the missing elements in Budget 2017
Federal Budgets can be as noteworthy for what they do not include as for what they do. The Budget handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison on 9 May is no exception.
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At the heart of the community: revitalising regions through higher education
The pathways to socioeconomic improvement in a post-industrial age are difficult to predict.
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Minds rubbing on minds: Why people are at the heart of innovation
I’ve spent two decades talking about innovation, and often it feels like Groundhog Day.
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We need to tell the success stories in university-industry collaboration
During 30 years of involvement with Australian research, I have heard countless gloomy tales of low rates of research-industry engagement, and of missed opportunities to translate research into outcomes for society.
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Reflecting the long story of Australia in our universities
Reflecting the long story of Australia in our universities
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Q&A with Professor Barney Glover – chair Universities Australia
Q&A with Professor Barney Glover – chair Universities Australia
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How international education is advancing Australia’s interests
In early February, the latest trade figures confirmed that Australia’s international education exports remain on the rise.
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We can’t afford to lose the Education Investment Fund
A decade ago, it was hard to keep local health workers in the central Queensland city of Rockhampton.
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Our world-class research helps build a stronger future
During a round of golf on a visit to Australia in 1963, Queen Elizabeth II caught the attention of journalists. They noticed that the Queen, unlike all the other players on Royal Canberra Golf Course that day, wasn’t covered in flies.
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Q&A with Austrade Chief Executive Professor Stephanie Fahey
She should know, she use to help run one. The first female head of Austrade has experience in education, as well as in the commercial world, equipping her to understand how education and research underpins Australia’s trade mission.
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Equity is no longer an option – it’s an imperative
Seismic shifts in our economy and our society are here. Our globalised economy has seen technology disrupt jobs, industries and markets.
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Be careful what you wish for: why the market-based demand driven system is better than the alternatives.
From time to time over the past few years, we’ve heard the occasional call to end the demand driven system for university places.
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Is the TEF good public policy? Probably not.
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in the United Kingdom seeks to elevate the status of teaching and learning in higher education and provide better information to prospective students.
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Higher Education Conference: Gen Next 2017
What does the next generation of university students want from their degree? How can universities adapt to changing expectations?
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2016: The Year in Review
It’s been a busy year in higher education in Australia. Universities Australia has driven a bumper program of work on behalf of the sector – spearheading advocacy on a vast number of issues that affect our members.
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Going viral: promoting the contribution of universities in a digital age
It’s a recurring question for universities: how to communicate the value of what we do?
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Thinking about innovation: why basic research matters
Recently the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, spent time at the California University of Technology (Caltech.) There he discovered “phenomenal research underway” to improve health, find new sources of energy, and make the world a better place.
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A Fine Romance: Australian university engagement with China
In drawing the outlines of engagement between Australian and Chinese universities, one must paint with a very broad brush.
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Higher education by numbers
The higher education system in Australia is a major contributor to economic prosperity and social cohesion. Australia’s universities now have more than 1.3 million students and 120,000 staff across nearly 200 campuses.
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The rise of university philanthropy in Australia
Philanthropic support for higher education in Australia and New Zealand is on the rise. This is a heartening trend, and in many ways, 2015 was a particularly outstanding year for universities building a culture of philanthropy.
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