The UK’s MillionPlus group of modern universities and Australia’s Regional Universities Network have agreed to collaborate on “strategy and policy development”.
RUN, which has six members, and MillionPlus, which has 20, have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on strategy and policy development in higher education, research, innovation, and regional development.
The link comes as Australian universities attempt to stave off government plans for budget cuts and fee rises, while counterparts in England face the prospect of a “major review of university” funding, announced by Theresa May during the Conservative Party conference.
Dave Phoenix, MillionPlus chair and vice-chancellor of London South Bank University, said: “With higher education reform legislation being considered by Parliament in Australia, and further reforms under discussion in the UK, the collaboration is timely for both groups.
“We will initially work together on: approaches to promote student success; the role of universities as anchor institutions for their regions in the context of regional development; international student policy; and leveraging RUN and MillionPlus member interests in Universities UK and Universities Australia discussions on future, collaborative arrangements.
Greg Hill, RUN chair and vice-chancellor and president of the University of the Sunshine Coast, said: “The member universities have related missions. We have similar student profiles, with a large proportion of first-in-family students. Both groups are focussed on employment outcomes, innovation and research with impact, and have a close connection with their local communities and regions.”