| Education, Students

Review of the Melbourne Declaration: IRU response

The Education Council is reviewing the national schools statement known as the Melbourne Declaration.

Read the Education Council’s Review of the Melbourne Declaration discussion paper

The Melbourne declaration of educational goals for young Australians is the third statement from the
Commonwealth, State and Territory ministers to guide schools’ policy over the following decade.

In responding to the development of a fourth statement the Innovative Research Universities focus
at the intersection of the schooling system and the tertiary post school systems. We address:

  1. whether the schools statement should be broadened to include education following school, to
    conclude that the schools statement should remain schools focused but that there is scope for a
    distinct whole of education framework statement.
  2. how the schools statement should require school systems to be more explicit about the learning
    outcomes and capabilities of students at the end of schooling to provide a stronger basis for the
    transition to subsequent tertiary study and training.

Read the IRU response (PDF)

Australian and NZ Standard Research Classification review – IRU submission

The IRU has submitted its response to the review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), which seeks to ensure research classifications reflect current practice and remain responsive to change in the research sector.

The review is being jointly undertaken by ARC, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ), and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The IRU believes ANZSRC is important for measurement and analysis of research and experimental development across fields and types of research, and for long-term analysis of research output and mix in Australia. To do this, the IRU says ANZSRC must provide a comprehensive and useful description of Australian research, while maintaining alignment and comparability with international standards.

Overall, the ANZSRC functions effectively to categorise the array of research in Australia. Its major limitation is when it is assumed to be the best classification to assess research output. Research that targets solving major issues often draws on multiple areas of expertise applied to the common challenge.

The Review of ANZSRC targets incremental improvements, being cautious not to depart from international and historical standards, while being open to changes which better describe the current status of Australia’s research system. The classification should alter to reflect changes in research practices and emerging lines of research. Where changes are needed, the impact on time-series comparability should be addressed.

The IRU proposes three areas where changes to ANZSRC should be considered:

  1. to capture more effectively the array of research on Indigenous issues
  2. to ensure balance across the classification by considering dividing the currently large medical research division
  3. to address emerging fields and interdisciplinary research.

Read the full IRU response (PDF)