Westacott win for Western Sydney U

Jennifer Westacott, one of Australia’s most acute education and policy analysts, will be the university’s next chancellor

Ms Westacott is the most marvellous of mandarins, with decade of experience in senior roles in state and Commonwealth public services. As chief executive of the Business Council of Australia (where she will continue) she has driven policy debates at the intersection of education/training with employment and economic growth. In 2018 the BCA proposed a single post-secondary funding system and life-long skills accounts for people to use in HE and VET.

But while she is generous with her time and policy nous she works in a world of real politik, warning the Regional Universities Network last year, that its members must compete, “not to drive innovation, but to survive,” (CMM September 20 2021).

And she says what she thinks needs saying – responding to criticism of the BCA funding model from the HE policy community (CMM November 7 2018),

“the view that came across was we’re fine, leave us alone, and focus on improving the VET sector, but make sure there is no impact on us.  I consider it immoral to make yourself better off at someone else’s expense.”

She will succeed Peter Shergold early next year.