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Go8 Media Release: Group of Eight announces Chair

The Group of Eight (Go8) is pleased to announce Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney, has been elected its new Chair.

Dr Spence replaces the retiring Professor Ian Young, Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University. The Go8 Chair is elected for a period of two years and Dr Spence takes up his appointment on 1 January, 2016.

“The Go8 looks forward to the energetic commitment Dr Spence promises,” says Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson. “As the University of Sydney illustrates, Dr Spence is solidly committed to quality research and has an enviable reputation for pursuit of equity and open debate. He is a champion of the sector.

“We look forward to his strong advocacy contribution on behalf of the Go8 in the current debate over long term sustainable funding for the sector.”

Ms Thomson also paid tribute to outgoing Chair, Professor Ian Young who will retire as Vice Chancellor of Australian National University at the end of the year.

Professor Young has been at the forefront of national debate, especially as a strong advocate for a properly funded higher education sector, one funded in a way that allows the sector to advance Australia’s economy while delivering quality education and research,” Ms Thomson said.

“He has been totally committed to ensuring the higher education sector can preserve Australia’s place in the arena of international excellence in education, and we thank him for that.”

Dr Spence paid tribute to Professor Young’s leadership and said he was looking forward to playing a key leadership role on behalf of Australia’s strongest research universities.

“This is a crucial period for the Australian higher education sector as we work to maintain and enhance our international standing.  We are grateful for the leadership role Professor Young has played during his tenure in the role,” he said.

“It’s a privilege as part of the Go8 to speak for Australia’s tradition of excellence, of innovation and creativity, in education and research.  These institutions are crucial to Australia’s future.”


Contact:   Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472

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