Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Open Model for Australian Universities

Professor Beth NoveckUniversities Australia is holding a policy forum on "The Open Model - Innovation in Government, Science and Research", featuring Professor Beth Noveck, White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government, at Parliament House, Canberra, 28 October 2010.

Unfortunately the program makes no mention of the most important area in which the open model can directly impact the Australian universities, the community and economy: open access applied to education.

After tourism, education is Australia's largest services export, worth $18.6B in 2009. E-learning using Australian developed open source software and open access content, is transforming the way university education is provided. An example is the UK Open University.

This is an opportunity for Australia's education export industry. Australian universities can incorporate their open access research and data in online courses to remain competitive on the world market (a model I call "e-oxbridge"). If Australian universities fail to adopt e-learning, they will cease to be competitive. Billions of dollars in export income will be lost if international students choose not to study at Australian universities. Billions more dollars will be lost if Australian students choose to enrol in cheaper, higher quality, overseas online university courses and abandon Australian campuses.

Universities Australia Policy Forum 2

8.30am-1.00pm, Thursday, 28 October 2010
Mural Hall, Australian Parliament House, Canberra

The Open Model - Innovation in Government, Science and Research

Intended Purpose

It is often remarked that the transformation that society is undergoing at present is at least as great as that of the Industrial Revolution. As well as the broader social and business effects of the revolutionary changes wrought by and through the internet, there are profound actual and potential effects on the way government and related services, as well as research and science are conducted.

We are challenged to harness and strategically leverage the “new connectedness” to seek to exploit new domains of interaction. How can we assess and respond to this challenge? In particular what principles should we develop to understand the gains to be made through more open access to services and content?

Intended Audience

Parliamentarians, invited government and university representatives and other interested stakeholders.

Brief program

Thematically the half day will move through two phases, opening with a discussion about openness in government and access to government services, and moving on to related questions for open access to research, science, and research data in our universities.

These phases will be brought together through a final session in which access to innovation nationally and internationally will become the theme. The government theme will be explored through a presentation by Nicholas Gruen, and extended through international examples from key presenters.

The research questions will be opened up by John Wilbanks and others, and Richard Jeffersen
will make the linkages involving innovation and access to innovation as the end piece.

Universities Australia Policy Forum 2

8.30am-1.00pm, Thursday, 28 October 2010

Mural Hall, Australian Parliament House, Canberra
8.30 APH security clearance and escort to Mural Hall

9.00-9.10 Welcome and Scene Setting: Professor Peter Coaldrake, Chair, Universities Australia, Vice-Chancellor, QUT
9.10-10.30 Open Government
Chair and Commentator: Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation, QUT
10.30-11.00 Morning Tea
11.00-1.00 Open Access to Research

Chair and Commentator: Professor Tom Cochrane, Chair, Australian eResearch Infrastructure Council, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, QUT

  • Mr John Wilbanks, Vice-President, Science, Creative Commons: Future trends in science
  • Professor Steven Schwartz, Vice-Chancellor, Macquarie University: Open Access: An institutional perspective
  • Dr Warwick Anderson AM, Chief Executive, National Health and Medical Research Council: Open Access: A funder’s perspective
  • Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Sydney: Obstacles to collaboration and access
  • Dr Terry Cutler, Principal, Cutler & Company: Open Access and Innovation
  • Professor Richard Jefferson, Professor of Science, Technology & Law, QUT: Access to open innovation
12.30-1.00 Close

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