“The Universities Accord presents the most significant opportunity for policy reform in higher education in Australia in decades,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“We will come to the table with the bold thinking that significant reform demands.
“We congratulate Professor Mary O’Kane AC on being appointed to lead this vitally important endeavour.
“We also congratulate panel members Professor Barney Glover AO, Ms Shemara Wikramanayake, the Hon Jenny Macklin, Professor Larissa Behrendt AO, and the Hon Fiona Nash on being appointed.
“This is an enormously talented and experienced group which brings the required breadth and depth of expertise to the task at hand. We look forward to working closely with them.
“Education, like defence and health, is a national priority that we cannot afford to get wrong.
“This is a chance to review the policy framework we have and determine what is working and what isn’t for universities, to ensure our institutions have the strongest possible foundation to build from.
“Universities are ready to play our part and demonstrate over and over that we are uniquely placed to serve the interests of the nation and keep Australia and Australians successful, prosperous and safe.
“As a sector we will be courageous in applying all the bold and innovative thinking that universities are known for, to possible alternate approaches where we feel they are needed.
“In an increasingly complex and ever-changing world, universities will be relied on more than ever to provide the skills, knowledge, research and breakthroughs we need to adapt and progress as a nation.
“The Accord is fundamental to getting the right policy settings in place to enable universities to thrive.
“We have one of the best higher education systems in the world and we must work to keep it that way for the benefit of our nation, through the Accord and beyond. Let’s get on with it.”
Universities Australia looks forward to working with the Minister and the eminent panel through the Accord process.