Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Deeks has welcomed the State Government’s review of Western Australia’s public universities.
He said it was an opportunity to articulate the value of universities to society and explore ways to enhance their value for future generations.
Professor Deeks said all WA universities had a unique identity and different strengths. Murdoch is strongly associated with the environment and conservation, founded on principles of social justice and inclusion, and providing pathways into university education for people who had previously been excluded.
“Each university plays an important role in our higher education ecosystem and has its own strengths,” he said.
“WA students benefit from having diversity of choice, from which they can find a university that suits their character, circumstances, and ambition. This review is an opportunity to capture and consolidate the unique role each university plays and to enhance the productive cooperation that already exists between our universities.”
Professor Deeks said the performance of WA universities was obscured by the idiosyncrasies of university rankings schemes, which were often devised to sell newspapers and could not take into account the many factors that create a good university.
“This review is an opportunity to articulate the value WA universities add to our society, our industries and our economy, and to look at opportunities to enhance that value,” he said.
“I am, however, somewhat concerned with the timing of this review, coming as it does on the heels of the release of a Discussion Paper by the Australian Universities Accord Panel.
“This Discussion Paper is part of a 12-month review of Australia’s Higher Education system being conducted by the Australian Government aiming to deliver an Australian Universities Accord that could significantly change the way our universities are funded.
“Personally, I would prefer that the Australian Universities Accord process was completed before this review began.”
Federal Education Minister Jason Clare released the Australian Universities Accord Discussion Paper yesterday, calling for ideas to “reshape and reimagine” Australia’s higher education sector.