Gavin Brown to represent Australian universities at UN Global Colloquium

13 February 2006

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Professor Gavin Brown AO, will represent Australian higher education at the 2006 UN Secretary General’s Global Colloquium of University Presidents, being held at Princeton from February 14-15.

The 2006 United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Colloquium of University Presidents will address two important themes: The Social Benefits of the Research University in the 21st Century and Innovative Sources of Funding for Global Public Goods.  

Presidents and Vice-Chancellors from the world’s most prestigious universities attend the annual colloquium to discuss with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ways in which higher education institutions contribute to their societies.

This is the second year that Professor Gavin Brown has been invited to participate and once again he is the only Australian Vice-Chancellor to have been included.

Each university president has also been asked to present a short paper at the Colloquium reflecting on the ways in which universities contribute to the intellectual, scientific, political, economic, and creative fabric of society. In a paper that will be provided to attendees, Professor Brown discusses the Social Benefits of the Research University in the 21st Century. Professor Brown talks about the benefits to be gained by undergraduates through playing an active part in the community of a research based university ‘which comes from learning amidst those who are making the breakthroughs about which we lecture,’ he says.   

Professor Brown also highlights recent voluntary student unionism legislation, which prevents universities from billing students for any amenities or activities outside the classroom. ‘This is, in my view, an extreme extension of the “private good” argument within higher education,’ he says.

Also attending the two day colloquium will be presidents and representatives from other leading international universities including the University of Cambridge, Yale University, Fudan University, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences P), Seoul University, and Columbia University.

  • Notes to Editors:
    At the 2005 Secretary-General’s Global Colloquium Secretary-General Kofi Annan chaired plenary discussions of two key issues; the meaning and extent of academic freedom in the pursuit of research and educational missions and the global public policy issue of how to promote the best interests of international migrants and the countries they leave, transit or enter.
  • Secretary-General Annan’s remarks at the dinner for the 2006 Global Colloquium of University Presidents will be made available online at:
  • Professor Brown was recently made an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2006 Australia Day honours.

Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy or Andrew Potter

Phone: ph: +61 2 9351 4312 or ph: + 61 2 9351 4514