Clare announces the Accord team

Mary O’Kane will chair the Government’s review of higher education. Education Minister Jason Clare announced her appointment last night

Professor O’Kane is a former VC of the University of Adelaide and a previous NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. She is now chair of the NSW Independent Planning Commission, and highly regarded as an independent policy consultant.

She is joined by,

* head of UTS’s Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research and professor of law Larissa Behrendt

* Western Sydney U VC Barney Glover

* former Labor cabinet minister Jenny Macklin

* former National Party minister and present Regional Education Commissioner Fiona Nash

* Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake

Key areas include

* new targets and reforms for lifelong learning

* “greater access and participation for students from “underrepresented backgrounds”

* funding and contributions, including a review of the coalition’s Job Ready Graduates programme

* regulatory and workplace relations

* VET and HE connections with an emphasis on student experiences

* a competitive international education sector

* the research pipeline and collaboration between universities and industry “to drive greater commercial returns”

“A key aim of the consultation process will be to ensure the voices of First Nation Australians and people from underrepresented groups are heard and reflected”

The panel will report progress in June and file December 2023.

Early reaction: The Australian Technology Network nailed it; “this is big ticket reform – which is very much in the Labor tradition and will be as important as the Bradley and Dawkins reviews were in their eras.

More tomorrow.