October 17, 2013

IRU congratulates Labor Shadow Ministers

The Innovative Research Universities congratulates the Shadow Ministers chosen by the Leader of the Opposition Mr Shorten to form the Labor Shadow Ministry. The IRU looks forward to continuing to work with Senator Carr as Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Industry.

“There are important challenges ahead for the Opposition” said Professor Barney Glover, Vice- Chancellor, Charles Darwin University and Chair, IRU. “The previous Labor Government initiated major changes in higher education introducing demand driven funding for undergraduate students and further expanding a research system that supports good research where it is found across the university system.”

“The Opposition has an important role to play in promoting good debate about higher education so that higher education continues to develop as needed to support Australia’s future.” Professor Glover said.

We also look forward to engaging with Shadow Ministers with significant roles affecting universities in Richard Marles as Shadow Minister for Immigration, Catherine King as Shadow Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong as Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment, and Shayne Neumann as Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

The major issues ahead are:

  • Whether to support implementation of the savings measures to reduce funding per place, turn grants to students from poorer backgrounds into loans, and discourage self funded postgraduate education;
  • the response to the review of higher education regulation;
  • initiatives to simplify the research grants process while retaining a focus on supporting the

    best ideas across all institution;

  • long term support for higher education infrastructure to support future teaching and research needs at a time of major changes in delivery and operations;
  • constructing a viable way ahead to assess the impact of university research to demonstrate its value and each university’s contribution; and
  • re-invigorating support for Australia’s international student capability.