Three themes ran through the University’sactivities in 1999.
- The first was a theme of negotiation on many fronts including with staffand government on funding, policy, andemployment conditions.
- The second was one of recognition where others, including the Australian Research Council, the Federal Government andprivate corporations, acknowledged the University’s work and achievements.
- The third theme, that of survival, reflected the Government’s funding decisions of four years ago that generated the harsh administrative andfinancial conditions confronting the sector.
The impact of those decisions reached its peak in 1999 but will continue for several years. In each of its last four annual reports to the Parliament, the ANU has commented on the state of the sector, and on the enormous pressures staff and students face as a result. In the last 12 months little has changed: the system remainsin crisis.
Australia’s commitment to a high quality university teaching and research system is being questioned at a time when competitor nations — the United Kingdom, the United States,Singapore, for example — are investing significantly in higher education and research.