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April 2006 Issue
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Commonwealth university heads meet at Adelaide

The University of Adelaide will host approximately 300 Vice-Chancellors from universities across the world at the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) Conference of Executive Heads on campus from April 9-12.

Under the title 'University Futures' the Conference will focus on some of the biggest issues facing universities worldwide, many of them with transnational and global implications.

Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha said: "This is a tremendous opportunity for the University of Adelaide to make its mark internationally before a global audience."

"Across the Commonwealth, governments are placing ever-increasing responsibilities on universities that are, in turn, facing more and more demands from their multiple stakeholders.

"Universities are being asked to take on roles in regeneration, economic and sustainable development, while at the same time maintaining quality and ensuring national competitiveness against tightening funding regimes. The debate surrounding these issues promises to be an exciting one."

The conference will be launched with an Opening Ceremony on Sunday 9 April, followed by three days of addresses and discussion under daily themes including the responsibilities of higher education; new roles, rules and forms; and dilemmas of international education. Discussion within these themes will focus on the role of universities in regional economic development, social disadvantage, HIV/AIDS, national science strategies, demands from business and community, gender issues and sustainable development.

Among the speakers are: New Zealand Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Steve Maharey; former South Australian Premier and Regional Vice-President of World Vision International, Dr Lynn Arnold; South African Minister for Education, Naledi Pandor; and the former Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Mike Moore.

The University of Adelaide was selected to host the 2006 conference after submitting a bid three years ago at the last conference in Belfast. The conference will also include the annual general meeting of the Association.

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