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Vice-Chancellor appointed Go8 Chair

30 September 2015
Crucial period for the Australian higher education sector

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence has been elected as the new Chair of the Group of Eight.

Dr Michael Spence

The Group of Eight (Go8) comprises Australia’s eight leading research universities, including the University of Sydney, and is a leader in influencing the development and delivery of long-term sustainable national higher education and research policy.

Dr Spence replaces Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young in the role.

Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said the group was looking forward to Dr Spence’s energetic commitment.

"As the University of Sydney illustrates, Dr Spence is solidly committed to quality research and has an enviable reputation for pursuit of equity and open debate. He is a champion of the sector," Ms Thompson said.

"We look forward to his strong advocacy contribution on behalf of the Go8 in the current debate over long-term sustainable funding for the sector."

Ms Thomson also paid tribute to outgoing Chair, Professor Ian Young.

Professor Young has been at the forefront of national debate, especially as a strong advocate for a properly funded higher education sector, one funded in a way that allows the sector to advance Australia’s economy while delivering quality education and research,” Ms Thomson said.

Dr Spence also paid tribute to Professor Young, and said he was looking forward to playing a key leadership role on behalf of Australia’s strongest research universities.

"This is a crucial period for the Australian higher education sector as we work to maintain and enhance our international standing. We are grateful for the leadership role Professor Young has played during his tenure in the role.

"It's a privilege as part of the Go8 to speak for Australia's tradition of excellence, of innovation and creativity, in education and research. These institutions are crucial to Australia’s future," Dr Spence said.

Dr Spence will take up his appointment from 1 January 2016. The Go8 chair is elected for a period of two years.

The Go8 comprises Australia’s eight leading research universities, including the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, the University of Adelaide, Monash University and the University of New South Wales.

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