Strengthening Australia’s research training system

Media Release
  • Minister for Education and Training
  • Leader of the House

Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has today commissioned the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) to undertake a review of Australia’s research training system to ensure that it meets Australia’s research needs in the 21st Century.

“A highly skilled research workforce is vital to Australia’s future prosperity,” Mr Pyne said.

“Other countries are already exploring new research training models, with more structured PhD programmes, greater industry engagement, and alternative entry pathways into a PhD.

“Australia’s research training system will fall behind if our research training models are not comparable with the best in the world. This review will help ensure our system is truly world class and capable of underpinning our capacity for learned inquiry, innovation and productivity.”

The review will also deliver on the Australian Government’s commitment to boosting the commercial returns from research by ensuring that researchers are better equipped to work with industry and bring their ideas to market.

ACOLA will engage with higher education and research institutions, peak bodies, industry, and government agencies to identify opportunities to improve research training in Australia.

The four learned academies that make up ACOLA are the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, the Academy of the Humanities, and the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The review’s Terms of Reference are attached. The review’s final report will be provided to the Minister in March 2016.

For more information on the Australian Council of Learned Academies visit: www.acola.org.au.

 

Review of Australia’s Research Training System
 
Context
 
A highly skilled research workforce is vital to Australia’s future prosperity.
 
The Minister for Education and Training has commissioned the Australian Council of Learned Academies to undertake a review to help ensure that Australia’s research training system is truly world class and capable of underpinning our capacity for learned inquiry, innovation and productivity.
 
As outlined in the Government’s Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research strategy, the review will ensure that research graduates are equipped to work with industry and bring their ideas to market.
 
The review will engage higher education and research institutions, peak bodies, industry, and government agencies to gather information regarding opportunities to improve Australia’s research training system and deliver evidence based findings.
 
Terms of Reference
 
The review will examine Australia’s research training system, and consider the priorities for reform, including how to:
 
• ensure that Australia’s research training models are comparable with the best in the world
• ensure that research graduates are equipped for and achieve employment outcomes in a range of sectors, including academic teaching, research and industry
• provide greater opportunity for industry relevant research training, including through
          o support for industry relevant research projects and experience
          o access to industry and business relevant skills within research training programs, such as entrepreneurial skills
          o recognition of prior experience in industry or other relevant employment
• remove barriers in the regulatory framework to facilitate innovation in degree models and align with international best practice, including
          o facilitating opportunities for more structured research training programmes, including through professional development, coursework and internships
          o supporting alternative pathways to a PhD that align with international best practice, such as master’s degree preparatory models
• support admission and attainment for PhD candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, including supporting Indigenous research students
• ensure the research workforce pipeline is secure in fields of national importance, including areas aligned with national science and research priorities
• ensure that our research training system delivers a high quality research and learning environment and continues to support student choice and competition between providers, and
• make the best use of current resources invested in research training by all stakeholders, including universities, industry and the Australian Government.

A report will be provided by ACOLA to the Minister for Education and Training in March 2016.
 

For more information

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