Universities Accord: an opportunity for every university

Students at the University of Adelaide's North Terrace campus

The Australian Universities Accord has the potential to drive lasting change and create alignment across Australia’s Higher Education system.

At the highest level, the Accord must consider how we create a fairer system for Higher Education and through that system ensure a more cohesive, harmonious society.

The University of Adelaide echoes the Group of Eight’s (Go8) 2050 vision for education, research, and equity across the sector. This approach is not about fixing the current system but designing a new, fit-for-purpose system that will be informed by the issues identified in the operation of the current system.

The Accord process has included an examination of structural and mission adjustments to be able to achieve the necessary changes to transform the Australian Higher Education system over the next three decades.

“As the University of Adelaide looks to the future of our state, we believe the goals and ambitions articulated for South Australia’s universities would be well aligned with the multitude of aspects encapsulated in the interim report of the Accord process,” said Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.

“Improving access to Higher Education and retention of students should be a key focus of the Accord. We have an opportunity to create a stronger system that continues to support world-class research and study, and strengthen the foundations of the community through education. These are not mutually exclusive but mutually reinforcing ambitions.

“The vision of a tertiary education system must be dedicated to ensuring the prosperity, wellbeing and cohesion of society by addressing educational inequality through actions and through the success and impact of learners, graduate researchers, staff and alumni.

“The Accord is an opportunity to elevate and reiterate the purpose, value and role of Higher Education in Australia and to understand what society expects from the sector.”

In the 2050 vision of a knowledge-based economy, universities will play a central role in setting societal norms and in creating a civic-minded society through education and research.

Universities will address factors linked to disadvantage and health; facilitate meaningful engagement; help decipher multidisciplinary issues in a complex world across sectors; and play a stronger role in the nation’s sovereign capability, stability, security and prosperity.

Universities will also, through their partnered future-making research, be instrumental to Australia’s economic growth that is required to achieve and maintain an equitable, prosperous society.

“The Australian Universities Accord provides a platform to define the principle-based changes needed to achieve the long-term vision for the sector and to ask the big questions around funding, governance, international education, research, collaboration, skills shortages and equity,” said Professor Høj AC.

The interim report on the Universities Accord has been issued by the Federal Government.

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