By preparing the next generation of professional leaders and innovators, discovering new knowledge and building relationships nationally and internationally, Go8 universities contribute to advancing Australia's wellbeing and solving the major challenges confronting the world.
Anyone observing the world in which they live can see how the outputs of research improve our life, work and environment. Some people believe that if governments invest specifically in research designed to produce immediately useful outcomes, it could ensure an even higher return on government investment.
The Group of Eight aims to be:
an authoritative source of policy advice and analysis on higher education and university research;
proactive in setting the policy agenda;
responsive to changes in the policy environment.
Business and universities are different but complementary parts of the national innovation system and the effectiveness of the system depends on them working together. Linkages require reciprocity and both sectors need to play a role in initiating and strengthening them; neither sector can act in isolation from the other and all parties need to respond to the needs and concerns of the others.
There is an ongoing discussion in Australia on the need to improve the linkages between business and universities. Not surprisingly, this issue tends to receive more attention as financial and budgetary conditions tighten and as governments look for more immediate and visible returns on their investments. This is because capturing the commercial benefits of university research will often depend on business.
The Bradley Review’s recommendation of a demand-driven system of funding university places was made without explicit reference to labour market demand for particular skills and qualifications. It has been implemented without much regard for student demand by field of education. It is clear that the Government underestimated both students’ and universities’ reaction to the opening up of the system. For this reason, initial projections of the cost of a demand-driven system were understated.
The Go8's submission to the Federal Government's Review of the National Innovation System includes over 20 recommendations designed to ensure that Australia's research and research training systems are capable of underpinning a dynamic economy and society. The Go8 submission stresses the importance of basic research and business / community / university collaboration to innovation, but suggests that arguably the most important function of universities is the cultivation of talent in an environment that values intellectual curiosity. Key recommendations of the Go8's submission include:
This is the third infrastructure survey conducted by the Go8, focusing on the state of the buildings and infrastructure at the Go8 universities. This most recent survey collated data relating to aspects of the estate not previously explored, including leasing arrangements, space utilisation, parking, and transportation modes.
Address by Professor Ian Chubb AC
Vice-Chancellor and President, The Australian National University.
Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Lecture Series. 5.30pm, Shine Dome, Acton, Canberra. 20 February 2008.
I welcome the opportunity to participate in the ANZSOG lecture series for 2008.
Let me begin with a comment about self-interest. If I don’t, I’ll be reminded that I should have done so in the coming days.