“The decision to resign the leadership of Universities Australia was not an easy one to make,” Ms Jackson said.
“After seven and a half years at UA, including five as chief executive, it is time to hand the baton on, and the end of the Australian Universities Accord process is a good time to depart.
“I have loved serving the Australian university sector and will continue to work in and around Australia’s great universities.
“Our universities are precious national assets, working every day to improve the lives of every Australian, making our nation stronger, safer and more successful.
“I sincerely believe an Australian university education is a ticket to endless opportunity and thank all those who have worked with me to protect and promote the sector I love.
“Special thanks go to the UA Chairs I have worked closely with, including Professors David Lloyd, John Dewar AO, Deborah Terry AO, Margaret Gardner AO and Barney Glover AO.”
Chair of the Board Professor David Lloyd paid tribute to Ms Jackson for her leadership of Universities Australia.
“Catriona has been at the helm of UA since 2018 and in that time, she has done an outstanding job of fostering an environment in which universities can deliver for the nation,” Professor Lloyd said.
“She is a consummate professional and a principled advocate who has worked tirelessly on behalf of Australia’s universities to promote our significant value to the Australian community and policymakers.
“It is rarely an easy task, and often a thankless one, but Catriona has performed with diligence and determination. She has runs on the board and leaves the sector in a good position for the future.
“Catriona’s tenure, of course, included the COVID-19 pandemic, through which she led our advocacy for a further $1 billion in research funding at a time when it was needed most.
“She has also driven our central involvement in the Australian Universities Accord – a process she will see out as chief executive and one through which she is lobbying fiercely for the policies and funding settings that will support a thriving, diverse and inclusive higher education sector.
“On behalf of Australia’s 39 comprehensive universities, I would like to express my complete gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Catriona for all she has done for higher education.”
Universities Australia will soon commence an extensive search process for a new chief executive.