The Universities Australia Higher Education Conference was held in March with a record turnout of almost 1000 delegates.
The event, themed “Higher Education: Gen Next”, featured more than 70 highly respected national and international speakers headlined by the outstanding presentation delivered by the former US Ambassador to Australia, the Hon Jeffery Bleich.
But Bleich’s address was just one of many conference highlights.
Universities Australia Chair Professor Barney Glover used his address to the National Press Club to urge Australians to defend the role of evidence and experts, arguing they are more important than ever in a ‘post-truth’ world.
Professor Glover also formally launched Universities Australia’s new Startup Smarts report about the role of universities and their graduates in the startup economy.
As part of the conference, Universities Australia held an historic dinner to launch the sector’s new Indigenous strategy, unveiling ambitious targets to lift enrolment and completion rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
The dinner also honoured Indigenous trailblazers in Australian higher education, remembering the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to enrol in universities in the 1950s and 1960s. The launch featured a deeply moving performance of Archie Roach’s anthem “Took The Children Away”, sung by young Ngiyampaa man Sebastian Kelly-Toiava. You can watch it via the link above.
The Australian Vice-Chancellor’s Committee and Universities Australia Oral History video, ‘Universities Australia: Keeping it Clever since 1920’ was also screened at the conference.
Next year’s conference promises to be even bigger. It will be held on 28 February-2 March 2018, so please reserve the dates in your diary now.