Review of Australia's Research Training System

A highly skilled research workforce is vital to Australia’s future prosperity. In 2015 the Australian Government commissioned the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) to undertake a Review of Australia’s Research Training System (the Review).

About the Review

The Review aimed to help ensure that Australia’s research training system is truly world class and capable of underpinning our capacity for learned inquiry, innovation and productivity.

The Review engaged higher education and research institutions, peak bodies, industry, and government agencies to gather information regarding opportunities to improve Australia’s research training system and deliver evidence based findings.

On 4 November 2016, the Government announced it had accepted the Review’s six recommendations. See the:

Research Training Implementation Plan

In response to Recommendation 1 of the Review, a Research Training Implementation Working Group was established to develop an implementation plan and consider further actions to respond to the Review’s findings. The Working Group comprised representatives from the higher education, government and industry sectors, including Indigenous and higher degree by research (HDR) student representatives.

Research Training Implementation Working Group terms of reference and membership

The Implementation Plan outlines 18 actions for the higher education, government and industry sectors to respond to the Review’s findings. The actions address 5 Priority Issues:

1. Pathways to HDR training

2. Industry-university collaboration, including placements

3. Equity, including Indigenous participation

4. Quality of the HDR training system

5. Data and evidence to better monitor HDR system performance.

Under Priority 3, the department has released the following reports on equity in Higher Degrees by Research:

The department commissioned the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to hold an Indigenous HDR student forum in November 2018. QUT has published the following report on the findings of this forum:

In August 2017, the Working Group Chair, Professor Robyn Owens, wrote to the Minister for Education and Training to present him with the Implementation Plan.

On 22 December 2017, the Implementation Plan was released by the Minister for Education and Training:

The Department of Education and Training, in consultation with responsible organisations, is monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the 18 agreed actions.

Implementation Plan Updates

Previous reports and background