Over recent decades, Australia’s economy and the higher education sector have benefited from an expansion in global engagement opportunities. With increasing connectivity through travel and technology, international student numbers grew and collaborative research projects thrived.
More recently, the positive benefits to Australia have been qualified by defence and security agencies which see a down-side to global connectivity.
What does this mean for the higher education sector?
Australia’s Director-General of Security has warned of an “unprecedented scale of foreign interference activity against Australian interests” and identified increased efforts to influence decision-makers across society, including university and research sectors. In 2019, a taskforce comprised of government and higher education representatives released Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector. (more…)