A major focus for the ANU in 2004 was the conduct of an independent Quality Review. This Review arose partly in response to a decision of the Australian Government in 1995 to have conducted a “comprehensive review of the overall performance of the Institute of Advanced Studies in six years time.” That review was deferred, following a subsequent decision of the Government in 1999 to phase-in, over three years, the admission of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the ANU into the competitive grants schemes of the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
The Council of the ANU considered the possible scope of a further review of the Institute in late 2003. Given the present relationship between the Institute’s research function with those of other staff in the University, and the distinctive character of ANU undergraduate and graduate education in a research-intensive environment, the Council decided to initiate a comprehensive, independent and external review of the quality of all The University’s performance.
The 2004 Review was designed to be a transparent process. It focused on the quality of outcomes, with reference to international and national benchmarks, and having regard to the purposes and goals of ANU. The Review was conducted by a committee of eminent persons, bringing breadth of perspective and depth of expertise and experience.
The Review Committee was asked to scrutinise all available information about the performance of ANU across all its functions and all its parts. This information included self-assessments made by the ANU about its academic Faculties, Schools and Centres, and its service departments. The Committee was also asked to judge the extent to which the evidence available to it confirmsor modifies the University’s self-assessments.
Information provided to the Committee was drawn from publicly available and validated data sets, from external academic peer assessments, and from the results of surveys specifically undertaken for the Review by independent organisations.
This report brings together the available evidence demonstrating the quality of ANU performance across the functions of research, education and community service.