Review of Australia’s higher education system

Australian Universities Accord

This story was first published on Monday 6 March 2023. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

The Australian Universities Accord Panel has released a Discussion Paper outlining the fundamental challenges facing the Australian higher education sector.

In November 2022, the Australian Government announced the Australian Universities Accord, a Review of the higher education system, led by Professor Mary O’Kane AC.

The Australian Universities Accord is an opportunity to examine everything from the affordability of higher education to accessibility and quality and how higher education and vocational training can work together.

The first phase of consultation ran from 24 November to 19 December. These opportunities were open to every individual and every organisation with a stake in higher education.

‘Our purpose was to ask people what they think is most important for the review to consider. I am pleased to say that we received over 1950 survey responses and more than 180 submissions’, said Professor O’Kane, Chair of the Accord Panel.

The Discussion Paper for the Review was launched on 22 February, providing a further opportunity to provide input. The paper notes the higher education system will be asked to do more to address national and global challenges and seize opportunities for Australia over the medium and long-term.

‘We want to hear big ideas. Think outside of the box, and beyond the immediate challenges and pressures to 30 years in the future. Ask yourself, what kind of system does Australia need in 2030, 2040 and 2050, and what can we do to get there together’, says Mary O’Kane.

The Panel is seeking ideas for responding to skills needs; opening access to students from underrepresented backgrounds; and helping to address the challenges facing the nation.

You can find the discussion paper and information on making a submission on the Accord consultation page until 11:59pm on Tuesday 11 April 2023.

Correct at time of publication.