As a public institution, we are dedicated to maintaining strong internal policies. We also actively engage with changes in government policy by making regular higher education and research policy submissions, across a wide range of issues.
As a public institution, we have a rigorous and robust policy framework under the jurisdiction of the Policy Management Unit in the Office of the General Counsel.
Our framework consists of four types of document:
Our Policy Register can be searched by students, staff and the general public, and contains documents on topics such as health and safety, community relations, infrastructure and procurement.
As a major publicly-funded education and research institution, we maintain important relationships with governments at all levels.
The federal government has a comprehensive policy framework for education and research that provides the context for our core education and research activities. We also engage with the NSW government across a wide range of issues, as well as with local governments in the communities we serve
Activities relating to higher education policy are led by staff based in the Vice-Chancellor's Office.
We regularly provide input to government and parliamentary policy processes that affect the University’s operations. Our submissions for the last 5 years are made publicly available here in the interests of transparency.
The Australian Government introduced the Emergency Response Fund Bill 2019 and Emergency Response Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019 to Parliament on 11 September 2019.
Together the Bills support the government's 2019 election commitment to establish an Emergency Response Fund that can be spent on responses and recovery when major natural disasters occur in Australia.
To help fund the creation of this new resource, the government plans to close the existing Education and Investment Fund (EIF) and redirect the $3.9 billion remaining in that fund.
The University of Sydney supports initiatives to help Australia better prepare for natural disasters. However, its submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee’s inquiry into the Bills opposes the closure of the EIF as short sighted and likely to threaten the long-term competitiveness of Australia’s higher education system.
View the University’s submission
On 5 July 2019 the National Rural Health Commissioner released a comprehensive discussion paper seeking feedback from stakeholders on a range of policy reform options designed to improve the availability and quality of allied health services across rural and remote Australia. Read details of the Commissioner’s paper and the consultation process.
The University delivers extensive rural health education, training, research and clinical service through a network of sites in the central west, far west and northern NSW. Its submission to this process was prepared with input from all faculties and schools that have an interest in rural health care.
View the University’s submission.
In June 2019 the Chair of the Higher Education Standards Panel, Professor Ian O’Connor AC wrote to the leaders of all registered higher education providers seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Higher Education Standards Framework.
The amendments proposed by the Standards Panel were recommended in the final report of the Independent Review of Freedom of Speech in Australian Higher Education, undertaken for the Federal Minister for Education by the Hon Robert S French AC, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.
They would replace current references in the standards to the concept of "freedom of intellectual inquiry" with the terms "freedom of speech" and "academic freedom". These proposed changes would bring the language used in the standards into alignment with the Model Code for the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom in Australian higher education providers, which was recommended for voluntary implementation by all providers.
View the University’s submission.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade called for feedback in June on the role the federal government’s new foundation should play in strengthening relations between Australia and China.
The National Foundation for Australia-China Relations will replace and build on the ground-breaking work the Australia-China Council has led for more than 40 years. It will promote Australian excellence in new areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, health and ageing, the environment and energy.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, announced a significant funding boost to support this initiative in March.
View the University’s submission.
The Federal Department of Education released an exposure draft and overview of legislation to tackle ‘contract cheating’ (https://www.education.gov.au/tackling-contract-cheating) in April to support academic integrity in higher education.
View the University’s submission (pdf, 627KB).
The Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science released a consultation paper in March as part of a major review it is leading to improve the way it measures innovation across Australia.
View the University’s submission (pdf, 160KB)
Following the initial consultation process in February, the Expert Advisory Group has developed six Issues Papers outlining possible further actions to address the challenges facing tertiary education in regional, rural and remote areas.
View the University's submission (pdf, 230KB)
In the 2017-18 budget, the Australian Government announced a review of the AQF, which will ensure that the framework continues to meet the needs of all stakeholders.
View the University's submission (pdf, 250KB)
In December 2018 the Department of Education and Training released a discussion paper for the Review of the Higher Education Provider Category Standards.
View the University's submission (pdf, 1.6MB)
In December 2018 the Federal Government released the advice of the Higher Education Standards Panel into commercial (or 'contract') cheating in higher education. The Government is currently drafting legislation that would make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services in higher education in Australia.
On 20 June 2018 Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner announced a national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.
The TGA has released a ‘Consultation Paper’ on its plan to initiate a GCP inspection program of clinical trial sites this year.
In December 2018 the Federal Government released a ‘Discussion Paper’ about its proposed introduction of new performance-based funding arrangements for the Australian higher education sector.
In November 2018 the Federal Government released a ‘Consultation Paper’ setting out options for a new mechanism for the Government allocation of enabling, sub-bachelor and postgraduate courses and seeks feedback from stakeholders on which courses should be funded and why.
The Federal Government announced in November 2018 that it had asked a Regional Education Expert Advisory Group chaired by the Hon Dr Denis Napthine to develop a National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy for the Commonwealth. A ‘framing paper’ was released on 20 December 2018 to inform the first round of consultations with stakeholders.
Late in 2018, the Federal Minister for Education committed to publishing performance data on education agents in Australia's international education system. The Department of Education and Training sought feedback on developing a strategy for the publication of all education agent performance data by releasing a ‘policy paper’ on 11 January 2019. Publication of a final report is expected in the middle of 2019.
For more information please access the University’s survey responses (pdf, 147KB).
Submission to the Business Council of Australia's Future-Proof discussion paper: Future-proof- Australia future post- secondary education and skills system – January and August 2018 (pdf, 388KB) and submission in resoponse to to BCA's final Future-Proof reform plan - August 2018 (pdf, 263KB)
Submission regarding legislative proposals arising from proposed reforms of the Space Activities Act 1998 - April 2017 (pdf, 340KB)
Submission in response to review of the Space Activities Act 1998 – April 2016 (pdf, 20KB)
Submission to the Productivity Commission’s draft report: Data availability and use – December 2016 (pdf, 260KB)
Submission to the Productivity Commission's issues paper: Data availability and use – July 2016 (pdf,180KB)
Submission regarding the Productivity Commission's draft report of the public inquiry into intellectual property arrangements – June 2016 (pdf, 320KB)
Submission to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into intellectual property arrangements – December 2015 (pdf, 367)
Submission a Higher Education Standards Panel's consultation paper on admissions transparency – May 2016 (pdf, 127KB)
Submission to a Senate Committee inquiry into innovation and creativity of Australia's future workforce - March 2016 (pdf, 32KB)
Submission to a Senate committee inquiry into the principles of the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014 – February 2015 (pdf, 1.4MB)
Submission regarding the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014 – February 2015 (pdf, 67KB)