There are 3 current enquiries that NITRO-Oceania is planning to make submissions to:
1. Review of the Australian Research Council
2. Higher Education review to establish: Australian Universities Accord
3. Review of Australia’s Science and Research Priorities
Salient information about each enquiry is below.
Actions for NITRO-Oceania Executive and members:
1. Join the new NITRO-Oceania working group that keeps an eye out for relevant enquiries and co-ordinates submissions. Contact Gabriele.Bammer@anu.edu.au.
2. Send points you would like made in the NITRO-Oceania submissions to the first 2 enquiries to Gabriele.Bammer@anu.edu.au by Friday 9 December, 2022.
3. Complete the stakeholder survey for the Higher Education review to establish: Australian Universities Accord by Monday 19 December, 2022 (https://www.education.gov.au/australian-universities-accord/consultations/higher-education-review)
It would be good to have as many NITRO-Oceania members as possible complete the survey, especially to mention interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education, particularly in response to the last question.
Review of the Australian Research Council
Due date: 14 December, 2022
Online submission, focused on 10 specific questions associated with terms of reference. The most relevant for NITRO-Oceania is the final question, which comes with the following introduction:
“The Review Panel is aware that its deliberations and the soundings it has taken across the sector to date are far from comprehensive. Your input on any other matter relevant to the Review is welcome, regardless of whether it has been raised in this consultation paper.
Q10. Having regard to the Review’s Terms of Reference, the ARC Act itself, the function, structure and operation of the ARC, and the current and potential role of the ARC in fostering excellent Australian research of global significance, do you have any other comments or suggestions?
20K character limit.
Reporting timeframe: An interim report will be delivered to the Minister for Education by 31 December 2022, with a final report with recommendations due by 31 March 2023.
Terms of Reference: In a review of the ARC Act, consider:
1. whether the role and purpose of the ARC as set out in the legislation remains relevant, including consideration of the contribution the ARC can make to identifying reforms to its programs to actively shape the research landscape in Australia and better align with comparable research agencies;
2. the ARC governance model and management functions and structures to ensure they are contemporary, fit for purpose, and meet the needs of stakeholders;
3. opportunities to improve the legislation to better facilitate globally competitive research and partnerships, reduce unnecessary administrative and legislative burden and increase agility; and
4. how the legislation could be revised to reflect the breadth of functions of the ARC and its evolution, including the measurement of the impact and excellence of Australian research and advise on contemporary best practice for modernising and leveraging these measures.
For more information: https://www.education.gov.au/higher-education-reviews-and-consultations/review-australian-research-council-act-2001
Higher Education review to establish: Australian Universities Accord
Due date: 19 December 2022
Online submission and stakeholder survey (see above).
There are 7 key areas for review; the most salient for NITRO-Oceania are:
#1 Meeting Australia’s knowledge and skills needs, now and in the future
– Enhance the delivery of quality education that meets the needs of students across all stages of lifelong learning and develops the skills needed now, and in the future. This will include recommendations for new targets and reforms recognising that more than nine in ten new jobs will require post-school qualifications, and fifty per cent of new jobs are expected to require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
#8 Delivering new knowledge, innovation and capability
– Support a system of university research that delivers for Australia, securing the future of the Australian research pipeline, from basic and translational research to commercialisation. In doing so, the Accord will explore relevant initiatives and other opportunities and to further boost collaboration between universities and industry to drive greater commercial returns.
– The review will synchronise with the ARC review and consider issues raised through that review and other areas of government that impact on the capacity of the higher education system to meet the nation’s current and future needs.
Reporting timeframe: The panel will report to the Minister for Education, providing an interim report on priority actions by June 2023, with a final report to be delivered by December 2023.
There will also be a Ministerial Reference Group, chaired by the Minister “that will act as a sounding board for the team and a source of advice. It will include representatives of students and staff, business and industry groups, higher education and vocational education peak bodies, the Chief Scientist and other experts.” Membership is expected to be finalised before Christmas.
For more information: https://www.education.gov.au/australian-universities-accord.
Review of Australia’s Science and Research Priorities
Due date: not given.
To be finalized by September 2023.
Most salient to NITRO-Oceania, the process will involve:
• “Australia’s Chief Scientist will lead a national conversation on the government’s behalf to inform both the priorities and the statement.
• We will consult extensively with science, research and industry stakeholders. We will also engage states, territories and international partners.
• There will also be a public consultation process to ensure that all Australians have an opportunity to contribute.”
For more information: https://www.industry.gov.au/news/australian-government-revitalise-our-science-and-research-priorities.