IRU ready for constructive collaboration with new Labor government

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) congratulates Labor on the election result and looks forward to close and constructive engagement with the new government.

Our universities stand ready to support the next phase of Australia’s economic and social development post-COVID – through higher education that supports the potential of all students and trains the workforce of the future, innovative research that delivers impact for our communities, and strategic partnerships with key countries in our region.

The IRU welcomes Labor’s commitment to additional university places and the focus on creating opportunity for disadvantaged students. We believe that there is unfinished business in addressing equity in higher education and that expanding access will help the nation in addressing its critical skills needs. Already 50% of our students are the first in their family to attend university. We are committed to engaging constructively with the review of the Job Ready Graduates package to ensure a fair and sustainable system into the future.

Labor’s Australian Universities Accord will support coherent long-term policy for higher education and research and we look forward to being involved. The Accord process also provides an important opportunity to review regulatory duplication in existing policy settings, to free up as much room as possible for innovation with new models of education.

Since their founding, IRU universities have had a strong commitment to building engagement with, and understanding of, the Indo-Pacific region. The IRU also looks forward to working closely with the new government to realise the opportunities of stronger partnerships through education and research with key countries in our region, including Pacific Island Nations, India and Japan.

Quotes attributable:

Professor Carolyn Evans, Chair

“We are excited about the opportunities to work in partnership with the new government on the next phase of Australia’s post-COVID recovery.

“Our universities play a vital role in expanding the number of high-skilled graduates to meet future workforce needs, in applying research for industry and community benefit, and in strengthening strategic partnerships in our region.”

Mr Paul Harris, Executive Director

“The IRU has a strong commitment to research translation, including commercialisation, that delivers impact for the community. Our collaboration with industry has grown by more than 260% over the last decade.

“We welcome Labor’s commitment to a new National Reconstruction Fund that will support industry innovation in key sectors including advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and defence. In cities right across Australia, IRU universities are driving Australian innovation.”

| Media Releases

IRU to farewell Charles Darwin University

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) is sad to announce the departure of Charles Darwin University (CDU) from the group. CDU made the formal announcement earlier this month, with their departure date set for 9 September 2022.

IRU Chair Professor Carolyn Evans said the group wishes CDU all the best as they move to being an unaligned university.

“CDU has been a valuable member of the IRU since they joined in 2009,” she said. “They have played key roles in a number of IRU initiatives such as our Academic Calibration Project, our collective work on opportunities in health and medical research, in our IRU Indigenous Network and hosting the Senior Leaders Forum in 2013 and 2019.

“We have clear priorities for the IRU, as expressed in our recent pre-election policy statement, but with CDU’s development of their new Strategic Plan, they have decided to focus elsewhere.

“We are of course sorry to see them go, but we understand they see their future as a university elsewhere and we will continue to work with them on our projects as full members until that date.”

CDU Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said since commencing his term as Vice Chancellor, he has been considering the university’s future directions.

“With our new 2021 -2026 Strategic Plan in place, regrettably we do not see ourselves aligning with IRU direction as we once did.” he said. “We feel it is time for the university to make a change and withdraw from this group.

“I would like to thank the IRU leadership, staff and member universities for their collegiality and support over the past years.”

IRU Executive Director Paul Harris said the IRU will work closely with CDU to ensure a smooth transition.

“The IRU Secretariat will work with CDU and our IRU committees to ensure minimal disruption during the process,” he said. “Through our many IRU committees and working groups, close collaborative relationships have been formed and we look forward to these continuing.”