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New NSW Public Policy Institute to be established

4 December 2019
Offering research excellence for the public good
A new public policy institute will be established to undertake research on the most pressing public policy issues facing New South Wales.

The new Institute will be independent and enduring, and will work alongside government, the higher education sector and industry to provide frank and fearless advice on a diverse range of policy matters.

We envisage this new venture as a sustainable way for us to offer our research excellence for the public good.
Dr Michael Spence, University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal

The Institute is being established with a $10 million endowment from the NSW Government, as well as funding and in-kind support from the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and Western Sydney University.

The three universities were successful in a tender process, and will now set about working with stakeholders to establish research streams and governance arrangements for the Institute. 

The Institute will transform the relationship between the university and government sectors, policymakers, industry and community, generating rigorous public policy research to achieve far-reaching benefits for the people of NSW.

The Institute will work across three broad themes:

  • Healthy and Connected 
  • Smart and Working, and 
  • Sustainable and Prosperous.

“Working with government and community in addressing policy challenges is part of what we do, every day. Whether it is about jobs for the future, planning and infrastructure, or empowering communities, our expertise at Sydney continues to shape policy outcomes with real public benefit,” said University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence AC.

“We envisage this new venture as a sustainable way for us to offer our research excellence for the public good. It is built upon a genuine commitment to work collaboratively with our colleagues from UTS and WSU, and to share our expertise for this purpose,” Dr Spence said.

“As public institutions with uniquely long-term perspectives, universities are expertly placed to develop robust, practical responses to pressing public policy issues. UTS is excited to be a partner in this distinctive cross-university venture and commends the NSW Government for its commitment to improving the mechanisms for evidence-based policies and programs to bring concrete benefit for our community,” said UTS Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs.

“Being named as a founding university of the NSW Public Policy Institute speaks to Western Sydney University’s reputation as an institution committed to undertaking collaborative research to address the grand challenges that face our society,” said Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Barney Glover AO.

“Our role in the Institute will reinforce the public benefits of the University’s world-leading research, helping to translate it into real impact for the communities we serve, especially in Western Sydney,” Professor Glover said.

A formal announcement of the new name for the Institute, as well as the inaugural policy summit, will follow in early 2020, once the new Board is in place.

Sydney staff take leading role in Institute establishment

Professor Ariadne Vromen from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is Chairing the Public Policy Institute establishment group, and in collaboration with Dr Patrick Brownlee, Director of Research Partnerships and Engagement in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, led the successful funding bid. They both continue to work closely with the NSW Government, UTS and WSU, in developing this innovative public policy research program that will be officially launched in early 2020. 

Colleagues who have contributed in an advisory capacity and continue to assist the establishment working group include: Professor Marc Stears and Louise Beehag from the Sydney Policy Lab, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Annamarie Jagose, Head of the School of Economics Professor Garry Barrett, External Engagement Manager Katie Richmond, and Professor Susan Goodwin from the School of Education and Social Work.

Professor Goodwin and Associate Professor Gaby Ramia will lead research themes for the Institute in 2020.

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