from the Chair and the Chief Executive

Barney Glover 150x255.jpg BelindaRobinson150x225.jpg








Welcome to the first HIGHER ED.ITION for 2017.

In this bumper issue, we preview some themes for the 12 months ahead. 

To open the year, Universities Australia’s pre-Budget submission cautioned against a radical overhaul of the system as the Government contemplates policy proposals to bring to Parliament.

We also welcomed news that Australia’s international education exports continue to grow, contributing a record $21.8 billion to the national economy in 2016

And we give you a sense of why Universities Australia has been advocating hard to keep the $3.7 billion Education Investment Fund, which has enabled more than 200 major building projects – including in struggling regional economies.

In his Higher Ed.Ition debut, Innovation Minister Arthur Sinodinos says world-class research – both discovery and applied – is crucial to support economic growth, jobs and living standards.

Incoming Austrade Chief Executive Stephanie Fahey outlines her vision for international education as a key part of Australia’s global trade agenda in a Q&A with us as she takes up her post.

Entrepreneur and equity champion Erin Watson-Lynn pens a piece about the next set of steps that higher education institutions can take to embed equity even more deeply

Charles Sturt University Vice Chancellor Professor Andy Vann pushes back on criticisms of the demand driven system, with his analysis of why it matters both for prosperity and social cohesion.

The University of Melbourne’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Richard James looks at the many pitfalls of the UK’s ‘teaching excellence framework’.

Meanwhile, the sector’s Keep It Clever public awareness campaign – taking stories of university research and graduates to wider audiences – added another 5000 followers over the summer. 

And a reminder to get in quickly with your registration for next week’s UA Conference

We have an exceptionally strong program of global and local speakers headlined by the former US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich from March 1-3. Don’t miss this scene-setter for the year.

Finally, as UA marks its tenth anniversary in 2017, we wish you a productive and successful year.

Barney Glover and Belinda Robinson

Chair and Chief Executive
Universities Australia

16 December 2016


june // 2015



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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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