Vice-Chancellor speaks at Inquiry into national security risks affecting universities

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) Professor Abid Khan addressed the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on Friday 19 March in relation to the Inquiry into national security risks affecting the Australian higher education and research sector.

Monash University takes issues of national security associated with universities seriously. It has established an institution-wide response, including specific governance models and operational changes to remain abreast of the dynamically changing security environment.

The current geopolitical environment means that universities need clear and regular guidance and integrated mechanisms by which to work with the government to keep pace with external risks and the nation’s evolving threat-analyses and interests.

International collaboration is critical to our research success. Monash’s education and research relationships with international partners have significant local and global impact across a range of fields, including health, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and sustainable development, as well as through the economic and social flows associated with international education.

Professor Gardner provided a nine-page submission to the Inquiry, which highlights that in exercising its security policies, the government needs to also support the global education and research networks that yield benefits to Australian society. The prosperity of Australia depends on a transparent, collaborative and globally-engaged higher education and research sector.

Representatives from seven other Australian universities also spoke at the hearing, along with chief executives from Universities Australia and the Group of Eight.

You can watch a recording of the public hearing on ParlView. Transcripts of the Inquiry hearings will be available next week on the Inquiry website.