11 September 2015
Outgoing Vice Chancellor of the ANU, Professor Ian Young AO, delivered the Sir Robert Menzies Oration on Higher Education this week at the University of Melbourne, calling for far greater investment in research and development in Australia.
Making a comparison between the Australian expenditure on R&D and that of countries like Germany and the United States, Prof Young stated that our average research outcomes trail these countries in line with our lower percentage of GDP spend.
Prof Young also highlighted the need for a dramatic improvement in the interaction and collaboration between industry and universities in Australia.
Prof Young put the case that our future economic prosperity is heavily dependent on building high tech industries, which require the underpinnings of world-leading research, which should be coming from our universities.
Citing Sir Robert Menzies, Prof Young indicated he agreed with the former prime minister, that research should be at the forefront of educational thinking.
The Sir Robert Menzies Oration on Higher Education was established in 1991 in partnership with the University of Melbourne, to recognise Sir Robert’s vision for strengthening the role of higher education, and his role as Chancellor of the University of Melbourne from 1967 to 1972.
The 2015 Menzies Oration was delivered during the conferring ceremony for the University of Melbourne’s outstanding PhD students.