The Group of Eight universities (Go8), Australia’s leading research universities with seven of its members ranked in the world’s top 100 universities, says it is crying out for the political stability necessary to support Australia’s world class university sector.
“By the nature of what we do, we are impacted by a range of portfolios apart from Education – Foreign Affairs, Trade, Industry, Health, Attorney Generals, VET, and Employment,” says Vicki Thomson, Go8 Chief Executive.
“It is true that we have had significant churn in the relevant portfolios – three education ministers and six industry ministers in the last five years alone – however we welcome the opportunity to work constructively with the new Morrison ministry to deliver fit-for-purpose post-secondary education and research sectors.
“We look forward to positive discussions about policy to support our domestic and international students, future employment strategies and graduate employability, and for a coherent message on the value of university research directed at our competitor nations, and trade partners,” she said.
“It is encouraging to note that our new Education Minister, Dan Tehan, spoke of education as a priority in his maiden speech and we are hopeful his decisions will reflect an understanding of the value of universities from his own experience at the Go8’s Melbourne and Monash universities.
“We now have Science specified as a portfolio under Karen Andrews – with whom the Go8 has worked constructively in the past – and from a joint visit to India, the Go8 has already seen the interest in strong trade relationships containing universities from new trade Minister Simon Birmingham.”
As a significant reshuffle negative Ms Thomson said splitting vocational education away from Education was inexplicable. “While Minister Birmingham had left the education portfolio with a number of important university funding issues unresolved, he had understood and worked toward post-secondary education policy and funding
being taken as a whole. This is a critical policy requirement. It has been ignored.”
Ms Thomson said the Go8 looked forward to meeting the new Education Minister and discussing priorities.
Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472