In April 2023, AAHMS provided a submission to the Federal Government’s Australian Universities Accord (AUA) discussion paper consultation.
We welcome the Government’s plans to ensure that Australia’s higher education sector is fit for purpose into the future. Our submission addresses points raised in the consultation discussion paper most relevant to our expertise in the health and medical sciences, and was developed based on contributions from our Fellows and Associate Members.
Key points in our submission include:
- Our universities are world class and play a crucial role in the Australian research and innovation landscape. To retain competitiveness, Australia needs a comprehensive research and innovation strategy, including a long-term stable funding commitment that puts us on a path towards a gross domestic R&D expenditure (GERD) target of 3%.
- To maximise the impacts of health and medical research translation, universities should work in partnership with health systems and governments (and vice versa) to embed research and innovation in the health system. This should include efforts to actively work with these partners to establish a more formal, sustainable career pathway for clinician researchers.
- We need to accelerate progress in improving diversity and inclusion and address ongoing equity issues in higher education.
- Stronger consumer and community involvement in research is also needed to help improve the impacts of research and innovation in community.
- More work is needed to develop a health-academia-industry interface facilitating the work of integrated teams to develop new therapies for patients, and to ensure Australia can better capitalise on innovation and commercialisation opportunities.
- Early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) play a crucial role in securing the future of our research and innovation workforce but continue to face challenges including a lack of secure employment and decreasing grant success rates. Support from government for a whole of sector approach is needed.
- Several actions are needed across the university and health sectors to increase the number and types of placements for health and medical students to gain registration upon graduation.
Further details are available in our full submission, which can be downloaded below.