Scott of Sydney: unis must be in the “solutions business”

The VC sets out how universities can get on with the new government

The election is a “re-set” in politics, which creates opportunities for universities, Uni Sydney VC Mark Scott says in a Group of Eight podcast this morning.

But just asking for more money is not going to work – “we are part of a long queue,” “we have to be seen to be leaning-in and helping government with the pressing issues it faces.”

“Part of our challenge is to be there in the solutions business, to think very carefully about problems the government is trying to solve … to bring the deep disciplinary expertise and capabilities of our research universities to bear.”

Professor Scott nominates climate, aged care and mental health as major policy issues for the new government.

“I hope we can get around the table and problem-solve together,” he says.

“The starting point will be a frank and open and respectful dialogue. That is where the sector is going to want to start and that is fully what I expect from the prime minister and the senior leadership team that he will put in place. In conversations that I have had over the last year or two that is what they have signalled they want to bring and that is what I expect we will see.”