University submissions 2016

Draft Report of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Data Availability and Use – December 2016

The Productivity Commission released the draft report of its Data Availability and Use Inquiry in October 2016.

The University’s July 2016 submission to the inquiry was quoted extensively in the draft report, and representatives of the University gave evidence at a public hearing held by the Commission in November 2016.

The University’s submission on the draft report is broadly supportive of reform directions the Commission has proposed. It elaborates on some of the key issues discussed at the public hearing and suggests areas where some the Commission’s recommendations could be improved.

Report of the Review of the R&D Tax Incentive – October 2016

A review of the R&D Tax incentive was conducted in early 2016, with the Review Panel asked by the Federal Government to identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness and integrity of the programme. The review report was released for consultation in late September 2016, and the University of Sydney provided this submission in response to the report’s findings and recommendations.

NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Review of the NSW Local Government Rating System – October 2016

In December 2015 the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), at the request of the Premier, began a review of the NSW Local Government Rating System.

The University is concerned with proposed recommendations to remove the Local Government Act 1993's exemption for universities from Council rates. This would have a significant financial impact on NSW universities and would, in effect, be redirecting the valuable funds they receive by way of federal and State grants, donations and other external funding sources for educational and research purposes, towards local infrastructure and services.

The University made this submission (including Annexure A, Summary of public benefits provided by the University) to the review. Also included in our submission was Annexure B, the 2012 Universities’ Submission to the Australian Government’s Discussion Paper: “Fairer, simpler, and more effective tax concessions for the not for profit sector”.

National Research Infrastructure Roadmap – September 2016

In July 2016 as part of the development of a National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, the Australian Government Department of Education and Training released the National Research Infrastructure Capability Issues Paper.

Submissions were invited in response to the issues paper, and in September 2016 the University of Sydney provided this response.

Evaluation of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) – September 2016

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) has commissioned ACIL Allen Consulting along with Wallis consulting to evaluate the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), a funding program which aims to increase the participation of low socio-economic status students in higher education.

As well as providing data requested by the consultant’s on the program’s operation at the University of Sydney, the University provided this written submission to the evaluation.

Structural Review of NHMRC’s Grant Program – August 2016

To address the challenges faced by research sector organisations in the preparation and evaluation of grant applications, many of which are unsuccessful, and in response to a number of submissions to the NHMRC Fellowship Consultation in 2015, the NHMRC is undertaking a strategic, whole-of-system review of its funding program.

The University of Sydney has made this submission to the review.

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Data Availability and Use – July 2016

In April 2016 the Productivity Commission released an Issues Paper to inform its public inquiry into data availability and use. The inquiry aims to investigate ways to improve the availability and use of public and private sector data.

In July 2016 the University of Sydney made this submission to the inquiry.

Higher Education Reform Options Paper – July 2016

With higher education reform much needed but the pathway for reform unclear in 2016, the Government released an Options Paper to engage with the industry and others on how to create a sustainable and equitable higher education system in Australia.

The University of Sydney provided this response to the Higher Education Reform Options Paper.

New Research Block Grant arrangements consultation paper – July 2016

In May 2016 the Australian Government Department of Education and Training released a consultation paper ‘Sharper incentives for engagement: New research block grant arrangements for universities.’ The new research block grant arrangements are intended to increase university engagement with industry in order to ensure that more research is translated into practical outcomes for Australians.

The University of Sydney provided this response to the consultation paper.

Australian Research Council – Public consultation for Engagement and Impact Assessment – June 2016

In December 2015, as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), the Australian Government announced the development of a national engagement and impact assessment. The assessment, to be developed and implemented by the Australian Research Council (ARC) will examine how universities are translating their research into economic, social and other benefits. The aim of the assessment is to create incentives for collaboration between universities, industry and other end-users of research.

In May 2015 a consultation paper on the assessment was released, to which the University of Sydney provided this submission in response.

Productivity Commission – Draft Report of the Public Inquiry into Intellectual Property Arrangements – June 2016

In 2015 the Productivity Commission began an Inquiry into Intellectual Property arrangements, to which the University of Sydney made a submission.

The Productivity Commission subsequently released its draft report.

The University of Sydney made this submission in response to the draft report.

Medical Research Future Fund Strategy and Priorities – June 2016

Legislation passed in August 2015 to create the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), an endowment fund to progressively grow funding support for health and medical research across sectors to around $1 billion annually by 2023-24.

In April 2016 the Government established the independent Advisory Board which will administer the MRFF. In May 2016 the Advisory Board called for submissions to be made to inform the MRFF’s 5 year Strategy and related Priorities. The University of Sydney made this submission to the consultation.

Higher Education Standards Panel consultation paper on admissions transparency – May 2016

In April 2016 the Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, asked the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP) to advise him on options to improve the transparency of higher education student admissions policies. The HESP released a consultation paper and the University of Sydney made this submission in response.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Pip Pattison’s submission for the University provides an overview which is supportive of the Group of Eight universities’ position on improving transparency for admissions standards and of the Transparency Statement the Go8 has developed. It also includes a detailed response to the consultation paper questions prepared by the Admissions Committee of the University’s Academic Board, and endorsed by the Board at its May 2016 meeting.

The University and the Academic Board support increased transparency around admissions standards, including regular publication of improved admissions data and wider distribution of information about alternative admissions pathways and the principles and evidence upon which these are based.

Review of the Space Activities Act 1998 – April 2016

On 24 October 2015, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, announced that a review of the Space Activities Act 1998 and Space Activities Regulations 2001. An issues paper was released and submissions sought.

As the University of Sydney is involved in various space research activities, our space research and legal experts worked to coordinate the University’s submission to the review.

Inquiry into innovation and creativity: workforce for the new economy - March 2016

On Wednesday 3 February 2016 the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment adopted an inquiry referred by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham. The Minister asked the Committee to inquire into and report on matters that ensure Australia’s tertiary system can meet the needs of a future labour force focused on innovation and creativity.

The University of Sydney made this submission to the inquiry.

Consultation on Proposed public release of key financial metrics on TEQSA registered higher education providers – January 2016

In November 2015, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) released a consultation paper on the Proposed public release of key financial metrics on TEQSA registered higher education providers.

The consultation paper posed specific consultation questions to which the University of Sydney made this response.