The Group of Eight (Go8) – Australia’s leading research-intensive universities – has appointed University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj as its Chair for 2017.
Professor Høj worked at executive level in industry, government and universities before becoming Vice-Chancellor of UQ in October 2012.
He has reinforced UQ’s stature as a leading university for teaching, research and commercialisation and overseen the development and implementation of a focussed international strategy.
Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said Professor Høj would bring experience, determination and energy to the role as the organisation worked to increase political and community awareness of the value of its graduates and research outcomes to the Australian economy.
“We are keen to harness his skills as we work to secure long-term sustainable policy and funding direction from Government.”
Professor Høj said he was honoured to be elected Chair and looked forward to contributing to the leadership on behalf of Australia’s leading research universities.
“It will be a great privilege to speak on behalf of the Group of Eight and to advocate for sustainable funding for research and teaching that is critical to our nation’s future,” he said.
“Australia cannot deliver an innovation-driven knowledge economy without a world-class, well-resourced university sector that produces quality graduates and outstanding research combined with a strong desire to work in partnership with all sectors of the economy.
“One only has to look at the rise of Asian universities in key rankings to realise that higher education is fiercely competitive.
“International students are worth $19.2 billion in export revenue for Australia, and the nation can ill-afford to lose any ground.”
Professor Høj said six of the Go8 universities were ranked in the top 100 of the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities.
“That’s more than the entire nations of Canada, Germany or Japan. We need to build on this strength rather than put it at risk by having an unsustainable funding system.
“This is why the Group of Eight continues to advocate for a durable funding model for research of unquestionable quality and why I look forward to contributing to the national debate as chair.”
Professor Høj succeeds University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, who has chaired the Go8 throughout 2016.
Professor Spence said the Go8 would benefit from Professor Høj’s leadership.
“These are complex times for our sector, with uncertainty over funding and with Australia confronting a much increased competitive marketplace for international students,” Professor Spence said.
Professor Høj takes up the position in January 2017.