Innovation and Creativity of the Future Workforce: NISA #5

In its response, IRU outlines the challenges for universities to respond to predicted and unpredicted changes in the future workforce.  Universities need more flexibility to be able to develop new and adaptable qualification options. IRU universities are collectively and individually taking the lead in revamping their program structures to ensure relevance to future requirements.

Read below the IRU submission to The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment inquiry on the importance of innovation and creativity to the future workforce.

Innovation Incubators: #NISA 4

IRU supports the general thrust of the government’s proposal with its focus on establishing new incubators in regions or industry sectors where none or few exist as well as expanding the services offered by existing incubators.

To determine the existing gaps, it would be useful to have a publicly-available list of existing incubators.   This would be beneficial for current start-ups looking for incubator support.   Though such a list currently does not exist, the assumption is that current incubators are based in Australia’s five main cities with the majority being Sydney or Melbourne based. This is the key issue that the new programme must address.

Read more below.

New Colombo Plan – Indigenous Focus: IRU response

The IRU members strive to be universities of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, promoting understanding of Indigenous knowledges in education, research and policy. The IRU supports the aim of the NCP Secretariat within DFAT to encourage greater participation by Indigenous students in the New Colombo Plan.
The need for action is based on participation to date being lower than the enrolment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students would suggest should be expected. As part of the NCP application and acquittal process, universities are not required to report participation (of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity or any other demographic) as part of the completion reporting process. To assess the effectiveness of the program in reaching all students this data should be collected, using the Department of Education and Training’s student data set items.

Read more below.

The Entrepreneur Visa: NISA #3

In its third submission to the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), Innovative Research Universities (IRU) supports the government’s plan to introduce a new Entrepreneur visa as a clear pathway to attract more entrepreneurial and research talent to Australia.  To achieve NISA’s aims, flexibility will be key.   The Entrepreneur visa should be implemented in an enabling rather than a restrictive manner while making sure immigration requirements are met.  In addition, the government should maximise the potential of the Entrepreneur visa by using it to encourage talent already in Australia to make the transition to entrepreneurship. 

Research and Development Tax Incentive Review: #NISA 2

IRU will contribute to the development of the Strategy, looking to ensure that programs will encourage investor action without stifling opportunities through overly strict rules or exclusion of potential future activities.

Submission key points:

• Strengthening the incentive for Research and Development carried out through research bodies.

• Include research in social sciences, arts and humanities, where it meets standard tests of being a core Research and Development activity directly relevant to the business’s future development.

Read full submission below. (3 pages)

Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements: IRU Submission

Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements: IRU submission The terms of reference for the Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements set out a twofold focus.

The first is to consider the overall system architecture of Government support for research and its use. The overall structure has not been reconsidered since the creation of the research block grants in 2001 although the incremental changes to elements of the system have significantly altered its balance.

The second is to ensure the structure encourages the take up of research by end users, particularly those able to use research for commercial ends. Read more in the attached PDF below.


ACOLA review of Australia’s Research Training System: IRU Submission

The review into Australia’s Research Training System is an important opportunity to refresh how Australia supports students undertaking degrees by research. A key focus is to ensure a good alignment of research training with potential for future work in industry, Government and other enterprises, which draw on research capability.

We need to ensure we address well the reality that the research degree can lead both to an academic career and to positions across industry and Government that requires highly capable, thoughtful and imaginative occupants.

Crucial to improvement in this area, as IRU argued in Industry Driven Research1; (IRU, May 2015) is to alter incentives for industry and business to seek out research that can improve their operations and commercial outcomes. For this review incentives to engage with research students should be considered.

The Review sits alongside a suite of Government actions to strengthen research output and its effective use, in particular for commercial outcomes. Of these, the funding structures to support research training are also under consideration by the Watt Review of research policy and funding arrangements.

IRU members have provided detailed submissions outlining their creative approaches to support research students, identifying the directions they now wish to take along with the changes to current arrangements required to allow them to do so…


Read more in the attached PDF below.

ESOS amendments go in the right direction

The IRU largely supports the proposed changes to the ESOS legislation, which Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education and Training, released on 7 July 2015 as set out in the exposure drafts:

  • Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2015
  • Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2015

The proposed changes are largely focused at updating the ESOS Act to reflect changes in the quality assurance arrangements through the creation of TEQSA and ASQA. In themselves the proposals are useful, if essentially technical, but they avoid the critical issue about the relationship of ESOS to general quality assurance arrangements, which have been transformed since ESOS was last overhauled.

The IRU submission focuses on three areas:

  1. The relationship between ESOS and general quality assurance
  2. Improving the risk management associated with the Tuition Protection Service 3. Streamlining the ESOS Act to reflect changes in quality assurance arrangements and reducing unnecessary red tape

Read more in the attached PDF below.

Medical Research Future Fund: IRU Submission

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) supports the proposed Medical Research Future Fund. We need to transform Government investment in health and medical research through greater investment in the translation of research findings into new products, procedures and processes that will have a significant impact on patients and health service providers, and support for the development stages of medical products. The new fund, used well, provides the opportunity to bridge these gaps, advancing health outcomes.