A spirit of optimism has buoyed the sector in recent months. We anticipate a further boost to confidence with the Turnbull Government’s release of its Innovation and Science Agenda.
For this HIGHER ED.ITION, we’ve invited opinion pieces from some key figures across the sector. Stay tuned for others early next year.
In one of his first opeds in the portfolio, Education Minister Simon Birmingham lays out some key challenges: how to fund higher education sustainably, how to stimulate even more excellence and innovation, how to expand the impact of publicly-funded research, and how to reach a consensus on the higher education needs of students, industry and institutions.
In his contribution, Shadow Minister Kim Carr contrasts the Government’s and Opposition’s policies in higher education funding. He recaps Labor’s policy announcements of 2015. He also writes that universities play a crucial role in creating and sustaining the jobs of the future because they are at the core of the innovation system.
Australia’s indefatigable Chief Scientist Ian Chubb is ending his term with another burst of thoughtful contributions to policy making. Writing for HIGHER ED.ITION on the value of outstanding teaching, he reminds us that university education gives us something our curiosity alone cannot. However hard that is to define, he writes, ‘surely it has people and the way they influence us at its core’.
Finally, Ken Boal and Sharon Winocur from the Business/Higher Education Round Table (B/HERT) give us their take on the hot policy topic of recent months. The pair set out their ideas on how to drive stronger collaboration rates between industry and researchers in Australia. One key point they make is that we must change the outdated stereotype that universities are hard to access. As just one example, last week every university in Australia agreed to put their patents on a public website, SourceIP, which allows business to search for patents that could be used in their field – with easy-to-locate contact details for the patent-holders at each university.
Enjoy the read and our best wishes for a safe and happy festive season. See you again in 2016.
Barney Glover and Belinda Robinson