ACGR Update

ACGR Update June 2024

June 2024

It has been a busy month across the sector with much discussion regarding the Federal Budget and its implications for the higher education sector. Leading up to the Budget, there was much anticipation regarding potential implications for our universities. At ACGR we were particularly interested in whether there would be an increase in the RTP stipend rate as recommended in the Australian Universities Accord Final Report. With the Budget not delivering such a specific increase in the investment in graduate research, ACGR will continue to advocate on your behalf for a much-needed increase in RTP stipend funding. To this end, we’re pleased to present the findings of the ACGR Sector Snapshot:2024 RTP Scholarship Base Rates Report in this month’s member update. This significant survey is already having an impact across the sector informing discussions regarding the ability of current funding arrangements to support the growth of the Australian research workforce considering the current cost-of-living crisis facing our HDR candidates. Thank you to all members for your contributions to this important ACGR Report. There has been more positive news recently with the Department of Home Affairs deciding to maintain the 50-year age cap for HDR candidates accessing the Temporary Graduate Visa scheme. This has been an issue of great concern to members and with ACGR having been advocating on this matter,  it’s pleasing to achieve such a positive outcome.

Closer to home there are some internal changes afoot at ACGR. We regretfully announce that Professor Clive Baldock will be stepping down as President of ACGR at the end of June 2024. Professor Baldock has been a long-time member of ACGR. His contribution to ACGR has been enduring and significant, giving his experience and insight as a seasoned Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Graduate Research in a number of institutions. As ACGR President, Professor Baldock has set in train numerous initiatives that will be implemented throughout 2024 and beyond. ACGR thanks Professor Baldock for his service to our professional body. In accordance with the ACGR constitution, and at the invitation of the Executive Committee, Professor Louise Sharpe from the University of Sydney has agreed to serve as the interim ACGR President from 1 July through to 31 December 2024.

Further, the Executive Committee has also invited Professor Susan Kinnear from Central Queensland University to serve on the Executive Committee for the same period due to the vacancy created by Professor Baldock’s departure. At the ACGR Annual General Meeting in November 2024, elections will be held for both President and vacant Executive Committee member positions. We thank Professor Sharpe and Professor Kinnear for agreeing to serve ACGR in their new roles during this transition.

We look forward to seeing you at the 25 June webinar Empowering supervisors in working with non-English speaking candidates: examples from practice, and bringing you news of upcoming ACGR initiatives in future Member Updates.

Best regards

Clive Baldock, ACGR President
Tracy Sullivan, Executive Director

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