University Futures - a global summit for Commonwealth university leaders

Monday, 27 March 2006

University of Adelaide 9-12 April 2006

Early next month the executive heads of universities from five continents will come together for a summit meeting at the University of Adelaide at which they will bring their own unique perspective to bear on the key questions and challenges facing higher education today in the Commonwealth and globally.

University Futures will seek to place universities at the heart of development and change in all regions of the Commonwealth. The Conference has been organised by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the University of Adelaide, the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) and the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC) and will be attended by some 300 delegates from 35 countries from every part of the Commonwealth.

This is an important opportunity for the Commonwealth universities to seize the initiative in a whole series of significant policy areas. It is the firm intention that the Conference communiqué will outline ways in which the universities of the Commonwealth will work together and with partners from both government, business and society to shape solutions to many of the world's most pressing problems, and feed directly into the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in December.

The conference will hear from university, government and business leaders on such issues as: sustainable development, renewing the African university, civic engagement, free trade, regional economic development, social disadvantage, gender as a barrier to opportunity in university management, HIV/AIDS and the role of university leadership, and the role of the universities in shaping national strategies for science, technology and innovation.

University Futures will be opened on Sunday 9 April by a senior representative of the Australian Government, and the following day (Monday 10 April) a conference address, on the role of universities, will be delivered by The Hon. Steve Maharey, New Zealand Minister of Research, Science and Technology. There will be plenary addresses by the Hon. Naledi Pandor, Minster of Education in South Africa and Mr Mike Moore, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and former Director-general of the World Trade Organisation.


Notes for editors

1. Journalists are welcome to attend University Futures and those wishing to do so should contact the Conference Press Office in London or Adelaide.

2. The Association of Commonwealth Universities, founded in 1913, is the world's oldest inter-university organisation. Its aim is to strengthen the universities in membership through the promotion of international co-operation and understanding. It works in practical ways to fulfil this aim by promoting the interests of member universities; by providing assistance with staff and student mobility and development programmes; and by researching and disseminating information about universities, management practices and policy issues. Over 500 universities in 35 countries and regions around the Commonwealth are members of the ACU, making it one of the most effective international networks in higher education in the world.

3. Since its establishment in 1874, the University of Adelaide has been amongst Australia's leading universities. It is associated with five Nobel Laureates (three of whom are graduates), and has produced nearly 100 Rhodes Scholars. Adelaide has a fine tradition of exemplary scholarship and ground-breaking research, and its unique relationship with industry and other organisations ensures that research expertise is translated into tangible benefits for the global community. An innovative and forward-looking University, Adelaide has major strengths in wine and food, health sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, information technology and telecommunications, environmental sciences and social sciences. Further information on the university can be found at and on the conference at

4. The Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee advances higher education through voluntary, cooperative and coordinated action. The Committee is non-partisan and exists exclusively for educational purposes. Its continuing aim is to serve the best interests of the universities, and through them, the nation. The AVCC represents 38 Australian universities.

5. The New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC) was established by the Universities Act 1961 which replaced the federal University of New Zealand with separate institutions. Today the Committee represents the interests of New Zealand's eight universities; Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Waikato, Massey, Victoria, Canterbury, Lincoln and Otago


Contact Details

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

Michael Benson
Communications Director
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Mobile: +44 7973 553939