University submissions 2018

Freedom of Speech Review - December 2018

Former High Court chief justice the Hon Robert French AC has been tasked by the Federal Government to conduct a review of free speech on Australian university campuses. On 29 November 2018 the University received a request from Mr French to provide information about its policies supporting freedom of expression and intellectual inquiry.
The University’s documents upholding freedom of expression and intellectual inquiry have been outlined in detail in our response to Mr French.

Growing International Education in Regional Australia - December 2018

The Federal Government's Council for International Education released the Consultation Paper: Growing International Education in Regional Australia. The Government is seeking ideas from the Council about how to boost opportunities for international students in the regions. We've given thought to this but also warned against policy interventions that would increase artificially demand from international students in regional areas at the expense of enrolments programs offered by city providers. For more information please access the University’s submission made on 06 December 2018.

Labor’s equity proposals - November 2018

In September 2018 Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, wrote to all members of Universities Australia (UA) announcing a return to the demand driven system should Labor return to Government and pledging $174million of funding over the next 10 years to operate alongside HEPP – the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.
The University of Sydney’s feedback was submitted on 02 November 2018 and can be accessed here.

Away from Base Futures Discussion Paper – November 2018

In October 2018 the Commonwealth Government announced that it will be reviewing the two Away from Base (AFB) programs. The AFB program supports Indigenous students who are studying an approved mixed-mode course by distance education to access compulsory course elements in another location away from their permanent home for short periods of time.
As part of this process organisations administering Away from Base support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were asked to provide feedback on the released discussion paper as well as on activities funded through the two Commonwealth AFB programs; one under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and the other under the ABSTUDY program.
The University of Sydney’s submission, made on 02 November 2018, can be accessed here.

Transition to new reporting standards under the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) – September 2018

In September 2018 the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training released the consultation paper ’Transition to new accounting standards, effect on research income higher education research data collection requirements’.
The University of Sydney’s analysis suggests that the application of the new standard for HERDC research income would lead to a general reduction in research income reported by the sector. Moreover, the changes in research income reported by different providers would be likely to vary considerably depending on their research income and activity profiles. For more information please access the University’s submission made on 17 October 2018.

Student Equity 2030 Discussion Paper - September 2018

In September the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) released the discussion paper Student Equity 2030: A long-term strategic vision for student equity in higher education. The released discussion paper aims to outline the key concepts, challenges and contradictions associated with achieving student equity in higher education in an era of near universal participation, and point out possible options for resolving these challenges and contradictions.

On 11 October 2018 The University of Sydney made a written submission to the discussion paper which can be accessed here.

External conduct standards for charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission – September 2018

In August the Treasury released draft regulations and an explanatory statement for the proposed external conduct standards that charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) will need to comply with when operating outside Australia. The draft regulations give effect to the Government’s announcement in the 2017-18 MYEFO measure ‘Philanthropy – managing risks of overseas philanthropy’.
More information can be found on the Treasury’s website.
These proposed new regulations are of interest to the University as a registered charity with significant overseas activities.

The University’s feedback on the draft regulations, made 21 September 2018, can be accessed here. The University is concerned that the proposals could impose unnecessary additional regulation and reporting red tape on Australian universities. Its submission recommends a range of practical solutions for consideration by Treasury, the ACNC and the Tertiary Education Standards and Quality Agency (TEQSA).

My Health Records System and Amendment Bill inquiries – September 2018

In August, the Senate asked its Community Affairs References and Legislation committees to inquire and report separately on the implementation of the My Health Record system and the provisions of the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018.

The University has a keen interest in the operation the My Health Record System as a research institution committed to improving community health and wellbeing, as well as to enhancing the quality and sustainability of Australia’s health care system.

The University’s submission to the References Committee’s review of the My Health Record System is available here, while its submission to the Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the Government’s amending Bill is available here.
More information about both inquiries is available through the Committee’s website.

Indigenous Student Success Program Review - August 2018

The Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) provides supplementary funding to universities to help students take on the demands of university and succeed. On 11 July 2018 the Government released a discussion paper on the Department of Health Website to facilitate consultations on ISSP Review.
The University’s submission, made 30 August 2018, is available here.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) – August 2018

National consultation were conducted by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board in order to inform the development of the second set of Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities (Priorities) 2018-2020.

The University’s submission on MRFF priorities, made 31 August 2018, can be accessed here.

More information about the fund and the 2018-2020 Priorities Consultation Discussion Paper can be found on the Department of Health Website.

Issues Paper on an Australian Data Sharing and Release Act – August 2018

In early July, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet published an issues paper on Australian Government's proposed Data Sharing and Release Act. Through this proposed new Act the Government aims to provide a simpler, clearer, more consistent and efficient framework to govern all data held by Commonwealth entities. The issues paper outlined the scope of the new legislation and the key principles proposed to underpin the new Act.

The University’s submission to the issues paper, made 1 August 2018, is available here.

Copyright Modernisation Consultations – July 2018

The Department of Communications and the Arts published a Copyright modernisation consultation paper that was seeking stakeholder views on reforms options for the Copyright Act 1968.

The University’s submission, made 4 July 2018, can be accessed here.

Inquiry into Funding Australia’s Research – June 2018

The Minister for Employment, Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham referred the inquiry into funding Australia's research to the House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training in May 2018. The Committee was asked to inquire into and report on the efficiency, effectiveness and coherency of Australian Government funding for research.

The University’s submission, made 30 June 2018, is available here.
The inquiry's terms of reference, all submissions received and the Hansard records of the Committee's various public hearings can be accessed via the website of the Parliament of Australia.

Independent Review of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (Cth) - May and July 2018

In April 2018 the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, appointed Dr Vivienne Thom AO to conduct an independent review of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (Cth).
The Defence Trade Controls Act introduced offences for the unauthorised supply, and in certain instances publication, of defence technology, and for the brokering of defence goods and technology without a permit.

The University contributed to the public consultation with a submission that was made on 31 May 2018.

A second round of consultations was initiated by the Review Secretariat in response to suggestions by some stakeholders that the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 is not meeting its national security objectives. The University of Sydney’s supplementary submission, made 16 July 2018, is available here.

More information about the Trade Controls Review can be found on the Department of Defence website.

City of Sydney International Education Plan – April 2018

In February 2018 the City of Sydney initiated a public consultation period for stakeholders to provide feedback on the City of Sydney’s international education plan . The plan includes actions to support international students and help them form lifelong connections while at the same time sustaining Sydney's position as a leading education destination in Australia and across the globe.

The University’s submission, made 20 April 2018, is available here.

Senate Committee inquiry into Australia's implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – March 2018

In December 2017 the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee received instructions from the Senate to conduct an inquiry into a range of matters relating to Australia’s implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The University’s submission, made 29 March 2018, is available here.

The Australian Labor Party’s proposed post-secondary education review – March 2018

In February 2018 the Shadow Federal Minister for Education, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek, called for feedback on terms of reference for a comprehensive review of Australia’s post-secondary education system. The Australian Labor Party has committed to commencing such a review within 100 days after the next federal election, if it forms government.

The University’s submission is available here.

Senate Select Committee Inquiry into the Future of Work and Workers – February 2018

In October 2017 the Senate established a Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers to inquire and report on the impact of technological and other change on the future of work and workers in Australia.

In February 2018 the University of Sydney made this submission to the Inquiry.

Business Council of Australia discussion paper: Future-Proof: Protecting Australians Through Education and Skills – January+August 2018

In December 2017 the Business Council of Australia (BCA) released a discussion paper (summary factsheet here) which outlined comprehensive reform proposals for tertiary education in Australia.

The University of Sydney is committed to long-term engagement with the BCA around these proposed reforms, and made this submission to Future-Proof.

In August 2018 the BCA released its final reform plan Future-proof: Australia’s future post-secondary education and skills system and The University of Sydney’s response can be found here.