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We are on the cusp of change

Ann Sherry AO, Chancellor of QUT and leading Australian business woman, outlines cultural challenges in universities compared to other sectors she has presided over. She sees the need for changed employment practices to align individual and organisational incentives if declining student demand and experiences and troubling financial circumstances are to be overcome. She sees the disruption happening in the sector needing a sharper set of conversations around what universities are, who they serve, and how they need to change what they offer. When asked how serious a university’s financial situation is she said “you can’t do anything without money and its the absolute focus of her whole council” as it is for more than half of the other Australian universities currently in deficit. She sees a future of fewer universities, partnerships with TAFE and new structures that need to be tested.