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University seals historic agreement with OECD


28 May 2013

Members of the University delegation at the OECD Forum in Paris, including Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence (far right). Photo: OECD/Christian Moutarde.
Members of the University delegation at the OECD Forum in Paris, including Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence (far right). Photo: OECD/Christian Moutarde.

The University has strengthened its relationship with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, signing the first internship agreement between the OECD and an Australian university.

The first beneficiaries of the agreement will be five students from the University of Sydney Business School, who travel to Paris in June to take up internships.

The agreement was signed in Paris by Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, who is taking part in the 2013 OECD Forum, and M. Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD.

Dr Spence said: "I am delighted that the University is able to provide an opportunity for its students to engage in such an important policy forum and to contribute to world growth and development through this internship program. Our partnership with the OECD will undoubtedly be strengthened by this initiative."

Dr Leanne Piggott, Director of the Business Programs Unit in the University of Sydney Business School, said: "It will provide the students with a unique opportunity to experience the work of an influential international organisation at first hand."

The Vice-Chancellor is a panellist on the OECD's 'From School to Work' seminar, focusing on the transition from education to work and its impact on the young.

Other Sydney participants in the Forum include Professor Geoff Gallop, Director of the Graduate School of Government, who is taking part in the Rebuilding Trust debate, prompted by the damage to politics, government and business caused by the GFC.

Professor Gallop said: "Trust is the hidden curriculum of modern politics. If trust is there, big changes are possible. If not, it is hard for governments to do what is needed to meet future challenges. Building trust should be a government priority."

Professor Ian Hickie, Executive Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute, is participating in the Scars of the Crisis session. Studies have shown that young people who experience prolonged unemployment or dislocation from education have an increased risk of mental ill-health and suicide, both short-term and long-term.

Professor Hickie said: "Governments need to respond now and much more effectively than in the past to reduce the adverse health, economic and social outcomes of the current world downturn in economic activity. Australia has found that new service models such as the use of e-health services and related social networking may be parts of those new and timely solutions."

Professor John Keane, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, is involved in the Old Politics, New Politics session, and Professor Colm Harmon, Head of the School of Economics, is taking part in a seminar on Big Trust.

Professor Harmon said that in education research, there was a need to integrate socio-economic data with biological and psychological measurement. "This will help direct educational resources to those who can most use it, with greater targeting and less waste," he said.

The University of Sydney is a knowledge partner of the OECD.


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Media enquiries: Richard North, 02 9351 3191, richard.north@sydney.edu.au