History

In 2003, a group of universities sharing common origins established the Innovative Research Universities as a collaborative network to enhance the outcomes of higher education.

The members were established as research-intensive universities during the 1960s and 1970s, a dynamic period characterised by massive expansion in higher education and extensive innovation in educational design and delivery – hence, the network name ‘Innovative Research Universities’.

The founding six universities were: Flinders University, Griffith University, La Trobe University, Macquarie University, Murdoch University and University of Newcastle.

Consistent with the aim to support individual universities as they evolve and grow, the membership of IRU has changed over time.

James Cook University joined in 2007, followed by Charles Darwin University in 2009.

These additions were balanced as first Macquarie (2008) and then Newcastle (2014) left the group to pursue their futures independently.

Western Sydney University joined in October 2017 with University of Canberra joining in 2021, bringing the total membership to eight.

Since its inception, the IRU has been at the constructive centre of Australian university policy making, influencing political developments beyond the capacity of individual university members. We advocate policy that supports excellence in teaching, learning and research that has local relevance and global applicability.

2003

Innovative Research Universities was founded in 2003 by six universities.

2007

In 2007 James Cook University joined Innovative Research Universities.

2009

Charles Darwin University joined the Innovative Research Universities group in 2009.

2017

Innovative Research Universities welcomed Western Sydney University in 2017.

2021

In 2021 the University of Canberra joined Innovative research Universities.