Official programme

14:00 - 14:30


14:30 - 15:00

Welcome remarks

14:35 - 15:00

Opening keynote

15:00 - 16:15

THE World University Rankings 2020: an exclusive preview

Phil Baty, THE's chief knowledge officer, will give a frank analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the Australian university system. He will analyse unpublished key data that will feed into the 2020 edition of the rankings and help to shape the final results, giving some early signals for Australia.
16:15 - 17:15

Australia in the World University Rankings: reflections and discussions

John Ross, THE's Asia-Pacific editor, will chair and lead responses and reactions to the new data analysis given in the previous session. He will identify strategic challenges and risks highlighted by the data, and consult on the way forward for university performance analysis and benchmarking for Australia.
17:15 - 19:00

Drinks reception

09:00 - 09:30

Registration and welcome refreshments

09:30 - 09:40

Opening comments

09:40 - 11:00

Looking ahead: Securing a stable financial future for Australia's universities

The federal election on 18 May will have clarified the medium-term outlook for Australian higher education. If the Coalition government is returned, universities can anticipate limited growth in undergraduate teaching grants from next year – subject to their performance – and the resumption of reforms of the qualifications framework, provider categories and funding of postgraduate places, among other areas. A Labor win will deliver a resurrected demand-driven funding system and an aspiration to almost double R&D spending levels, but with the details outsourced to two major reviews. A panel of top higher education minds will discuss the possibilities.
11:00 - 11:30

Networking refreshments

Sponsored by:  Study Group logo
11:30 - 13:00

How can Australia stay competitive in the global war for student talent?

Australia is a world leader in international education. Education ranks as the country’s top services export, now earning more than A$36 billion annually. Last year, almost 400,000 foreigners studied for Australian degrees, the vast bulk of them at the 37 public universities, including more than 150,000 people from China and 70,000 from India. There has been much public debate on the drivers for this, and the perceived and actual risks of a dependence on international student fees. There is less discussion about the opportunities that the internationalisation of Australia’s universities brings both domestically and internationally, and how Australian universities will have to evolve and adapt to fully realise these. Despite geopolitical rumblings, the mobility of students across the world shows no sign of ending soon; can Australian universities provide a model for the next generation of globally engaged universities that ensures benefits for both domestic and international cohorts?
13:00 - 14:00

Networking lunch

14:00 - 15:00

Bridging the divide: developing deeper collaborations between universities and industry

Some 16,000 businesses in Australia have formal partnerships with universities, generating about A$11 billion a year for those firms and A$19 billion in flow-on benefits to the broader economy. These collaborations have spawned an estimated 30,000 full-time jobs on top of the 120,000 directly supported by the university sector. Nevertheless, to many, business and academia reside in separate universes. Collaboration rates between Australian industry and universities languish near the bottom of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development league tables. Around the world, businesses are becoming more central as the focus of universities’ missions and sources of research funds. How can we ensure that Australia shares in this global trend?
15:00 - 15:15

Networking refreshments

Sponsored by:  Study Group logo
15:15 - 16:30

Australia in the inaugural THE University Impact Rankings: an exclusive analysis and consultation

Australia were standout performers in THE’s pioneering new University Impact Rankings, based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – with several Australian institutions topping ranking tables for individual SDGs. In this session, THE’s chief knowledge officer Phil Baty and senior data scientist Emma Deraze provide a new analysis of the performance of the region in the tables, examining strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. The THE team will also reflect, with some of the rankings’ inaugural participants, on the next steps for this ranking, consulting with delegates on the way forward as more institutions across the world join the initiative.
16:30 - 16:45

Closing remarks