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ATN response to Universities Accord reforms

25 February 2024

The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) has welcomed today’s release of the Universities Accord by Education Minister, Jason Clare.

The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) has welcomed today’s release of the Universities Accord by Education Minister, Jason Clare.

ATN Chair, Professor Harlene Hayne CNZM, congratulated Accord chair Professor Mary O’Kane AC and her expert panel on 47 new recommendations which reconfirmed that equity, future skills and lifelong learning are at the heart of the wide-ranging and ambitious reform agenda.

“The panel has taken on board the direction provided by key stakeholders across the sector, including issues such as research capabilities and student support. There is a lot to consider in the weeks and months ahead and we look forward to working closely with the Government to ensure the best outcome from the Universities Accord recommendations,” Prof Hayne said.

“With the path now laid out by the Accord, ATN, which has always been renowned as a strong policy-driven group of universities, looks forward to playing our part in the reform process while continuing to advocate for a healthier and fairer university system.”

ATN Interim Executive Director, Frank Coletta, said the recommendations are aimed at protecting Australia’s world-class system and provide the best possible opportunity for people to undertake university study where and when they want, to upskill and, most importantly, to succeed.

“We know that most people in our future workforce will need a tertiary qualification so we are pleased that the plans move us ever closer to universality, a unified Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training system, which will benefit the individual and, of course, Australia’s economy and international competitiveness.”

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The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) was established in 1999 and brings together six of Australia’s leading universities focused on enterprise, impact and finding solutions to issues facing our rapidly changing economy and society. Our member universities are Curtin University, Deakin University, RMIT University, The University of Newcastle, University of South Australia, and University of Technology Sydney. Our universities produce Australia’s most job-ready graduates and undertake world-class research with real-world impact. Through our innovation and leadership, we are proud disruptors challenging the status quo. ATN universities provide world-class education to almost 310,000 students and teach 20 per cent of domestic higher education students, along with 19 per cent of international students and we are the fastest-growing university grouping in terms of domestic students. Together, we are proud of who we include, not exclude, with a strong commitment to equity, excellence, and social justice. ATN is one of Australia’s leading university peak bodies with a track record of advocating and shaping positive policy outcomes with all levels of government.